by Matt Wilkes

Reds implode, blow lead in loss to Brewers

The second half started with a thud as the Reds blew a 4-1 lead en route to an 11-6 loss to the Brewers on Friday night. Reds pitching allowed 10 runs over the final five innings to seal the team’s fate and drop them five games behind Milwaukee for first place in the NL Central. Fortunately, there are still two games left in the series, but tonight wasn’t an ideal start.


Offense

The Reds wasted no time jumping on top. Jonathan India was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the first inning. Jesse Winker  followed by grounding into a fielder’s choice. With two outs, Joey Votto drew a walk to extend the inning. It paid off, as Tyler Naquin came through with a two-run double down the right-field line to give the Reds an early lead.

Two more runs scored in the third inning, sparked by another HBP. This time, however, it was Nick Castellanos who was hit on the right wrist. He stayed in to run the bases, and — following a single by Naquin — scored on a two-run double by Eugenio Suárez, extending the lead to 4-1 at the time. However, Castellanos exited in the bottom of the inning when the Reds took the field (X-rays were negative). It was an ominous sign of things to come in the game.

After the Brewers climbed within one run, the Reds struck back with another tally in the bottom of the fifth. It should’ve been a 1-2-3 inning, but Naquin reached on an error with two outs. After Suárez walked for the second time in the game, Tucker Barnhart smoked a single to center field and extend the Reds’ lead to 5-3.

The offense went cold over the next three innings, however. Shogo Akiyama was hit by a pitch to start the sixth but was eventually caught stealing. Kyle Farmer singled with one out in the eighth but that was quickly erased when Mike Freeman grounded into a double play.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Aristides Aquino hit a garbage time home run to right field (107.4 mph, 418 feet).

Pitching

Tyler Mahle was given the start to open the second half and was mostly solid through five innings. The home run ball was his undoing in the early going. Avisail Garcia smacked a solo shot in the second inning. In the fifth, Willy Adames hit a two-run GABP special (349 feet) that would’ve been a home run in just three other MLB ballparks. Aside from the homers, though, Mahle struck out eight and allowed only four hits and two walks through five innings.

Things unraveled in the sixth inning, however. After getting a flyout to start the inning, Mahle got ahead 1-2 against Jace Peterson but eventually gave up a walk. Luis Urias doubled Peterson home, making it a 5-4 ballgame and bouncing Mahle from the game.

Amir Garrett entered the game to face Jackie Bradley Jr., who had a 62 wRC+ against left-handed pitching entering the game. Bradley hit a high-bouncing ball to second baseman Jonathan India, who couldn’t handle it. The ball deflected away from India, allowing Urias to score and tie the game. After striking out righty Tyrone Taylor, Garrett allowed an RBI single to certified Reds killer Kolten Wong to give the Brewers a lead they would not relinquish.

Brad Brach threw a perfect seventh inning, striking out two in the process. He got five swings against his changeup with four swings and misses.

But the game got completely out of hand when Josh Osich took over in the eighth. The southpaw gave up a solo home run to Urias with one out, followed by a single to Bradley. After getting Manny Piña to fly out, Osich gave up a single to Wong and walked Christian Yelich.

Ryan Hendrix entered the game, and things didn’t get any better as he immediately gave up a two-run double to Adames. He struck out next batter Omar Narvaez, but the pitch was in the dirt and got away from Barnhart, allowing another run to score. Narvaez ended up all the way at second base on the play.

Tony Santillan threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning with a strikeout and a pair of groundouts.

Stats

Hardest-Hit Balls

  • Eugenio Suarez: 110.8 mph | Double in 3rd inning
  • Aristides Aquino: 107.4 mph | Home run in 9th inning
  • Tyler Naquin: 104.7 mph | Single in 3rd inning
  • Tucker Barnhart: 102.4 mph | Single in 5th inning
  • Tucker Barnhart: 102.1 mph | Lineout in 8th inning

Unluckiest Out of the Day

  • Jesse Winker: .580 xBA | GIDP in 2nd inning

Highest Velocities By Pitcher

  • Tyler Mahle: 96.8 mph
  • Amir Garrett: 95.9 mph
  • Brad Brach: 94.6 mph
  • Josh Osich: 93.4 mph
  • Ryan Hendrix: 97.1 mph
  • Tony Santillan: 94.9 mph

Highest Pitch Spin

  • Tyler Mahle: 2,638 rpm | Slider

Most Pitch Movement

  • Ryan Hendrix: 42 inches vertical movement | Slider
  • Brad Brach: 20 inches horizontal movement | Changeup

Team Expected Batting Averages (xBA)

  • Brewers: .235
  • Reds: .296
What’s Next?

The Reds will look to bounce back against the Brewers tomorrow evening at 7:10 p.m. EST. In a rematch of last Sunday’s game, Luis Castillo will take on Brandon Woodruff.


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Matt got hooked on Reds baseball after attending his first game in Cinergy Field at 6 years old, and he hasn’t looked back. As a kid, he was often found imitating his favorite players — Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns — in the backyard. When he finally went inside, he was leading the Reds to 162-0 seasons in MVP Baseball 2005 or keeping stats for whatever game was on TV. He started writing about baseball in 2014 and has become fascinated by analytics and all the new data in the game. Matt is also a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently lives in Columbus. Follow him on Twitter at @_MattWilkes.