by Micah Greenhill

Reds Claim Critical Win Against Milwaukee

Since I was six years old, I have been able to count on one hand the number of winning seasons the Reds have had. So far, the 2021 Reds are not only on pace to have a winning season, but they also have a good chance of making the playoffs. The only team ahead of them is the Brewers and Cincinnati is in the middle of a 7-game series against them. I’m not one for hyperbole, but this might be the most important series of the 2021 season for the Reds.

And so far, we’ve won two out of three.

There’s a long way to go. There are plenty of games to play against the Brewers, but for today, let’s count our blessings. The Reds just moved a bit closer to claiming first place for the division.


Offense:

While the Reds may have been able to escape with the win today, that doesn’t necessarily mean their hitting was very good. In fact, up until the 6th inning, Freddy Peralta was throwing a no hitter. Six Reds hitters struck out over the first four innings.

Three runs were plated during the 6th inning. Jonathan India led off the inning being plunked by All-Star Peralta. This was followed up by an opposite field ground ball single from Jesse Winker. With two runners on and no outs, Nick Castellanos hit a home run over the left field fence to bring the score to 3-1 Reds. The 100.7 MPH fly ball was actually a bit of a lucky hit, registering as having a .300xBA. Baseball is a funny game.

With the game tied in the 9th inning, Josh Hader took the mound. I’ve got to be honest. Hader is an incredibly intimidating pitcher. He’s talented and is one of the reasons why the Brewers are in first place. As good as Hader is, he was no match for Eugenio Suarez, who hit a 108.2 MPH fly ball into the seats to claim the lead. I guess a Hader is no match for good vibes (I know, I know. It’s cheesy. Give me a break).

Pitching:

Going into today’s game, I did not feel good about our chances of a win. The Reds were sending a rookie with poor pitching peripherals against a literal All-Star. However, baseball is truly a funny game and Gutierrez benefited from some good luck to limit the damage to one run.

That first run came in the first inning. Gutierrez began the inning by hitting leadoff Brewers hitter, Luis Urias. This was followed up by flyouts from Christian Yelich and Willy Adames (whom the Reds did not trade for). Urias advanced on a swinging bunt single from Omar Narvaez and was brought home on an RBI single from Avisail Garcia.

Over the course of 6 innings, Gutierrez threw four primary pitches. HE kept his fastball mostly located on the high right hand side of the strike zone. These pitches were typically put in play, but resulted in outs through a variety of weak contact and good luck. His remaining three pitches did an excellent job setting up his below average fastball, contributing to his success against the Brew Crew today.

Amir Garrett came in relief during the 7th inning. I’m typically nervous when he takes the mound, as we don’t know which Garrett will show up. Thankfully for Cincinnati, the dominating AG took the mound today, striking out the side in order.

With a two run lead, Brad Brach took the rubber in the 8th inning. While he managed to get his first hitter out, Brach surrendered a two run home run to Tyrone Taylor that tied the game. Up until this point, the Reds had above an 80% chance of victory. Unfortunately, Castellini’s bullpen struck again. After inducing a fly out from Willy Adames (whom the Reds did not trade for), Brach surrendered a double to Omar Narvaez. Narvaez’s hit measured almost 98 MPH off the bat and was only a few feet away from clearing the outfield wall.

This brought Josh Osich to the mound. He managed to limit the damage by striking out Jace Peterson to end the 8th.

Heath Hembree came in to save the game in the 9th. It was a nail biter for Reds fans, with the Reds bullpen protecting a one run lead. He began the inning by striking out Keston Hiura and inducing a groundout from Jackie Bradley Jr. Hembree then walked Pablo Reyes. With the tying run at first and the winning run at home, Luis Urias came to bat. Fortunately for the Reds, Urias flew out to Jesse Winker to end the game.

Hardest-Hit-Balls

  • Eugenio Suarez: 108.2 MPH Home Run in 9th inning

Unluckiest Out of the Day

  • Nick Castellanos: .730 xBA l Flyout in 1st inning

Highest Velocities by Pitcher

  • Vladimir Gutierrez: 95 MPH
  • Amir Garrett: 97.3 MPH
  • Brad Brach: 94.5 MPH
  • Josh Osich: 86.3 MPH
  • Heath Hembree: 96.4 MPH

Highest Pitch Spin:

  • Heath Hembree: 2862 RPM Slider

Most Pitch Movement

  • Vladimir Gutierrez: 57 inches vertical break l Curveball
  • Brad Brach: 19 inches horizontal break l Changeup

Team Expected Batting Averages (xBA)

  • Reds: .157
  • Brewers: .166

What’s Next?

The Reds need to keep winning. As we move closer to the trade deadline, Cincinnati needs as many data points as possible to make the case for improving the team. Right now, the Brewers stand in our way. Every win against them makes it a bit easier to make the case to make a trade to improve the roster. Hopefully, the Reds add another data point tomorrow in the duel of aces. Luis Castillo is set to face off against Brandon Woodruff. First pitch is at 2:10 EST. Let’s cross our fingers and hope the Redlegs continue moving up in the standings.

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire)

Micah is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up watching games at Cinergy Field with his family. A recent MBA graduate, Micah has always had a passion for data analytics and uses his understanding of big data to better understand and appreciate what is happening on the baseball diamond and in the front office. When he's not watching baseball, you can find Micah and his wife frequenting different restaurants and coffee shops in the area. For questions and inquiries, please reach out to micahgreenhill@gmail.com.

8 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
pinson343
pinson343
2 months ago

Nice job, Micah. Just one thing: “highest velocities” lists the wrong pitcher twice.

pinson343
pinson343
2 months ago

After a bad luck 24 pitch first inning, giving up a run on a check swing and a bloop, Gutierrez holds them for 5 innings without a single K and a lot of soft contact ? He’s an unusual young pitcher. 

Garret using the fastball to set up the slider, nice. 

Brach relies on low strikes and this ump wasn’t calling them. 

Nice job by Osich to keep the game tied in the 8th. 

Hembree just needed to throw one more fastball by Reyes to end the game and instead throws two sliders to walk him and then throws a fastball right down Broadway to Urias, who got just under it. Scary but I’ll take it. 

Jeffversion1
Jeffversion1
2 months ago

Johnny Cueto always outpitched his peripherals.

Is that too much to hope for with Vlad? 😉

Micah
Micah
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeffversion1

Let’s not be unfair by comparing Vlad to Cueto. 🙂

pinson343
pinson343
2 months ago

Great throw by Freeman to nail Narvaez at the plate.