Astonishing Game in Milwaukee; Yelich’s Cycle Leads Brew Crew to Victory

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Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Thursday, August 30. You just don’t see games like the one in Cincinnati last night in other sports, especially college football and basketball where the talent gap is wide enough to make the results all too predictable. On paper the Brewers shouldn’t have needed to score 13 runs to beat the Reds 13-12 in 10 innings last night. But it took a late home run by Jesus Aguilar and Christian Yelich hitting for the cycle to make it happen. To top it off he collected the most difficult hit-the triple-to make his cycle complete.
The Reds got off to a horrific start this year, winning only 3 of their first 21 games. With no change, they could now be as badly off as the Orioles and Royals. But following that woeful start the Reds have been close to .500 at 54–58. That leaves their record at 57-76. As bad as that is, both the Marlins and Padres are in worse shape. After their fire sale in the offseason the Fish are 53–81 now. Without a fire sale, the Padres stand even worse at 52–83.
Meantime the Brewers are in third in the NL Central, half a game behind the Cardinals and trying to pass them even if they accomplish nothing else. With 3 NL West teams doing as well as the D-Backs, Dodgers and Rockies it will take the Brewers playing every game for their lives if they want to have a shot at a wild card berth.
Both teams fought for pride last night if nothing else, and what a battle it was. Before the dust settled Yelich had gone 6 for 6 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBIs. At that he was the 4th Brewer to get 6 hits in a game, and if you need him he also threw out a runner at the plate who would have given the Reds the lead.
For sheer madness The game brings to my mind game 5 of the last World Series, but 90% of the country was asleep when that game took World Series nuttiness to the next level, so it doesn’t get the talk which other World Series games have gotten through the decades. Mike Moustakas hit a tie-breaking home run in the 8th and Aguilar broke an 11-11 tie in the 10th with a big fly. The Brewers needed insurance even then, as closer Jeremy Jeffress gave up a run to the Reds before ending the game. Not counting a rain delay, the game itself took 4 hours 16 minutes to wrap up.
Following a 27-minute rain delay the game got underway with Matt Harvey on the hill for the Reds. He nearly became a Brewer a week ago but that didn’t stop the Brew Crew. Halfway home the Brewers had built a 5–3 lead thanks to Yelich’s home run, a two-run job that put the Brewers ahead. Harvey took the hit for 4 of the 5 runs scored to that point. The lead didn’t last. Over the next 2 innings the Reds put up 7 runs including a hotly contested home run by Reds’ relief pitcher Michael Lorenzen. Astonishingly, it was the pitcher’s third home run this season against the Brewers. Some relievers don’t get 3 atbats in a season. The Brewers thought the pitcher had struck out on a foul bunt. The umpires didn’t, and theirs should be the only voice that matters. After Lorenzen’s bomb the Brewers’ Josh Hader was charged with 4 runs in 2/3 of an inning of possibly his worst night since the All-Star game. The Brewers, who had scored a run in the 6th tied the increasingly surreal contest with 4 runs in the 7th after which Yelich threw out runner Eugenio Suarez at the plate who would have made it 11-10 Reds. Instead the visitors made it 11-10 in the top of the 8th on Moustakas’ long one. The Reds tied it again at 11 all thanks to a wild pitch by the Brewers’ Joakim Soria. After Aguilar’s home run in the 10th Erikc Kratz singled home what would officially count as the winning run. Brandon Dixon went deep in the home half but the Reds finally ran out of gas for this game.
Just two games will be played this afternoon. After the craziness of last night, the Reds and Brewers get no rest. They will be starting at 12:35 Eastern, about the time this piece goes to press. The Indians host the Twins in the only other day game. Later, the Yankees have to bounce back from a horrible series where they lost 2 out of 3 to the White Sox. The Tigers come to the Bronx with Francisco Liriano facing J.A. Happ who has 15 wins all told, 5 since joining the Yankees. As badly as the rest of the Yankees have played his pitching has been indispensable. After they watch the scoreboard to see what Milwaukee does, the Cards face the Pirates under the lights in St. Louis. They’re just half a game ahead of the Brewers in the division after rallying mightily since manager Mike Matheney lost his job. The Cubs face the Braves in Atlanta to begin what could be a playoff preview. The Red Sox will try to demolish the white Sox, something the Yankees failed to do over the past 3 games. Last night against Miami, the Sox lost their hottest pitcher David Price who took a line drive off his pitching wrist. They proceeded to do what I said the Yankees should have done when Aaron Judge went down–play their brains out for their injured star. The Red Sox showed their mettle by scoring 11 runs in the 7th inning of a 14–6 win over the Marlins. Continuing their recent trend, the Red Sox didn’t hit a home run in their 11-run inning which is astonishing anywhere but especially at Fenway Park. Austin Dean hit the shot that knocked Price out. It came in head-high and Price chose a damaged wrist (pitching or otherwise) to a damaged visage. Brewers’ catcher Manny Pina wasn’t so lucky, taking a pitch to the face from the Reds’ David Hernandez. The short term cost–5 stitches. Long term, anybody’s guess. Two games with playoff implications take place out west. The Mariners face Oakland, both of who are chasing Houston for the AL West lead. That game takes place in Oakland, and the playoff possibility may or may not bring out actual people. Social media was abuzz across the bay last night over the numerous fans disguised as empty seats at the Giants’ game. In an NL West battle royal, the D-Backs begin a 4-game series with the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. Both Arizona starter Robbie Ray and the Dodgers’ Rich Hill have battled injuries this season and Hill’s troubles go back to last year.

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