It was tied at one in the top of the ninth inning, runners at the corners, and Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez on the mound, with Red’s second baseman Brandon Phillips at the plate. On an 0-1 pitch, K-Rod’s low and short change-up in the dirt got away from catcher Martin Maldonado; and so did the game from the Brewers. Speedy outfielder Billy Hamilton scored on the wild pitch, giving the Red’s a 2-1 lead that would be just enough to clinch the series for Cincinnati on Wednesday.
“That’s not a good way to lose a game,” said manager Ron Roenicke. “Hamilton, he’s dangerous when he’s out there. Anytime the ball’s in the dirt, he’s so fast it’s hard to recover from it. It’s obviously a tough loss.”
Milwaukee is now on an 8 game losing streak, and are off to their worst start in franchise history. They’re the first team to lose 13 of its first 15 games since the 1998 Arizona Diamondbacks.
“Right now we need a “W” and we’re not getting it,” says Francisco Rodriguez.
“Fighting through it going through it, keep working hard, and just go out there and compete every single day; give it everything we got. That’s pretty much the bottom line of what we have to do,” K-Rod said when asked how the Brewer’s will get through this dry spell.
“It’s a big mental thing,” said starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson. “It’s just one of those things; it’s a long season. You know you’ll break out of it. It’s not a matter if you are or aren’t going to break out of it; you know you are. We’re ready to break out of it and we all think we will.”
Nelson was the lone bright spot for the Brewers throwing 8 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. Nelson broke a streak of nine consecutive games without a quality start, which was the Brewers’ longest streak since Miller Park opened in 2001 when they had 11 straight nearing the end of the season.
“Outstanding ball game,” said Roenicke. “It’s a shame when you get that kind of outing; I know who we’re going against. You’re going against Cueto, you know you’re going to have trouble scoring runs. That makes it tough.”
The Reds Johnny Cueto pitched equally as well as Nelson, going 8 innings, giving up 1 run on 5 hits, 2 walks and 8 strikeouts. It was his first win of the season and his third quality start tossing 125 pitches which is his career high.
Cueto balked twice in this game, which was the first time since Chris Hatcher accomplished the same feet for the Marlins against this same Brewers team last year. The first of which put second baseman Elian Herrera in scoring position for first baseman Adam Lind, who drove him home to tie the game in the first inning. Unfortunately for the Brewers, that would be their only run.
Cincinnati will try and close out the series with a sweep during a day game Thursday. Milwaukee will be hoping to salvage one game out of four, in hopes to build some momentum when they continue their home stand against the St Louis Cardinals this weekend.