Blech...one ugly Friday night loss to the Reds
The Brewers dropped the first game of the series versus the Reds Friday night, 6-5, thanks to numerous gaffs and errors and a wild pitch that allowed the winning run to score.
The game started out uneventful enough--the Reds' Jerry Hairston, Jr., got on via a bunt single, went to second on a Manny Parra wild pitch, then third on a sac bunt, and scored on a Ken Griffey, Jr. ground ball. But Ryan Braun countered with his 23rd home run in the bottom of the first to tie the game at 1-1.
The next run came in the top of the 5th--rookie phenom Jay Bruce started the inning by reaching first on a Rickie Weeks' error...Bruce, too, advanced to second on a Parra wild pitch. After #8 hitter David Ross drew a walk, Reds' starter Josh Fogg advanced both baserunners on a sac bunt. Hairston then plated Bruce on a sac fly to give the Reds a 2-1 lead.
The Crew got to Fogg in the 6th inning--first Weeks got hit by a pitch, followed by J.J. Hardy drawing a base-on-balls. After Fogg got Braun to fan, the Reds replaced Fogg with Bill Bray...who got Prince Fielder to also strikeout. With two outs, Corey Hart doubled in Weeks (while Hardy took third), and then Bill Hall, pinch-hitting for Russell Branyan, also doubled in both Hardy and Hart, then scored on Mike Cameron's single. Cameron got caught in the ensuing run down, but did his job and gave the Crew a 5-2 lead.
Then a disasterous 3-run 7th for the Reds tied the game--Parra started by giving up a single to Joey Votto, followed by a double to Bruce, and a single to #8 hitter David Ross. Hindsight is always 20/20, but Yost should have yanked Parra after the double to Bruce that scored Votto...but left him in for both Ross as well as pinch-hitter Andy Phillips--who hit a smash fielder's choice to Weeks that plated Bruce. Yost yanked Parra, who finished with 5 runs, 3 earned, over 6 1/3 innings, allowing 6 hits but striking out 6.
Yost opted for David Riske...Hairston drove in Phillips thanks to Mike Cameron, apparently, losing the ball in the lights, leading to the ball going over his head and causing Hairston to advance to third. Riske got out of the inning, but the scored was now tied 5-5.
The Reds scored the winning run in the 8th--Edwin Encarnacion hit a ground-rule double off Brian Shouse that some jerk in the stands grabbed before Braun could reach it. After Votto flew out, Bruce hit a smash to third that wound up being scored a throwing error as Hall skipped the ball in and Fielder bobbled it. Fielder should have had the throw for the second out.
Yost then went to Salomon Torres...and Torres walked Ross on five pitches to load the bases. And Adum Dunn dribbler in front of the plate led to the best defensive play of the evening, as catcher Jason Kendall grabbed the ball, and returned to tap home to get Encarnacion out on the force out. But, then, Torres flung one in the dirt, that skipped by Kendall, rolled into the dugout, and allowed Bruce to score.
The Crew would strand Braun at third in the 8th, and Cameron in the 9th, while former Brewer Francisco Cordero "earned" the save, thanks, in part, to two god awful pitches outside the strike zone to pinch-hitter Gabe Kapler that were erroneously called strikes by home plate umpire Andy Fletcher (even the MLB.com Gabeday graphic showed both pitches #1 and #7 outside the strike zone). Apparently Fletcher was tired and just wanted to get home...oh, well, there was no guarantee that Kapler would have connected (but he should have been awarded the walk to keep the inning going and advance Cameron into scoring position), and the Crew certainly made more than their share of mistakes to ensure the loss.
Seth McClung takes the hill tomorrow night.