Tue. Final: Reds 6, Brewers 1
By Todd Welter
Next game: Wednesday, Apr. 15th vs Cincinnati.
This time out it was not the amount of base runners the Brewers' arms allowed on that hurt so much. Instead the pain came mostly from the lack of base runners the Brewers' bats could not produce that extended Milwaukee's four-game losing streak. That is not to say the bullpen--most notably Carlos Villanueva--did not do its part in inflicting a 6-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park.
The Brewers' pitching has had a tough go to start the season but for the most part the arms actually gave the Brewers a shot at snapping Milwaukee's early losing ways. That was until the ninth inning when Carlos Villanueva was roughed up for three runs on four hits.
"We want to pitch better as a pitching staff," Brewers starter Manny Parra said. "Eight games into it we're not getting the job done really."
Parra at least showed he could get the job done. He turned in a quality outing of six innings pitched in which he gave up just three runs, allowed three hits, walked four and struck out four. With no run support, Parra (0-2) had to take the loss.
"We need to have our starter get out there and give us six innings and he certainly did that," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "Offensively, we had a couple opportunities [but] the bats were pretty silent."
Thank Reds starter Bronson Arroyo and company for putting the mute button on the bats as Milwaukee mustered just five hits. Arroyo limited the Brewers to just one run on four hits in six and one-thirds innings pitched. Arroyo only walked four and struck out three but he did get himself into a little trouble here and there.
The Brewers never cashed in on Arroyo's troubles. He loaded up the bases in the third with two outs but escaped by getting Prince Fielder to fly out. Mike Cameron was left standing on second base the next inning after Bill Hall struck out and Jason Kendall grounded out to end the inning. The Brewers blew it big time in the seventh when Arroyo put two on and Reds manager Dusty Baker pulled the plug on Bronson's (2-0) night who ended up with his second win of the season for his efforts. Reliever Daniel Herrera followed Arroyo's lead by getting pinch hitter Rickie Weeks to ground into an inning ending double play.
"That guy has a way off keeping you off balance," Macha said about Arroyo's performance. "He's got a wide variety of arm angles and pretty much kept us off balance."
The Brewers have been off balance when it comes to hitting with runners in scoring position in the season's early happenings. In this contest, Milwaukee went 1-for-7 with no RBI in scoring chances and are 7-for-49 over the last seven games. To make matters worse, the Brewers one-two All-Star punch in Ryan Braun and Fielder are hitting a combined .190 with just one home run and seven RBIs to start the season.
"It's early in the season you know hopefully we can just get it out of the way now and start to swing it the way we normally do," Fielder said.
The Reds struck first blood in the first inning when Joey Votto drove in Jerry Hairston, Jr. with a double to right. The Brewers equaled that run in the second on J.J. Hardy's second home run of the season. Hardy was about the only bright spot at the plate as he went 2-for-4 along with a double. Hairston broke the gridlock in the third with a two-run blast to left.
The finale of this three-game set will have Braden Looper (0-0, 1.80) getting the start for the Brewers (2-6). Micah Owings starts for the Reds (3-4).
The Brewers have dropped their first two home series to start the season for the first time since the 2003 season...Ryan Braun snapped an 0-for-14 skid with a single to center in the third inning...Macha was asked in the postgame press conference if Braun is still injured, Macha said that Braun feels fine. A reporter asked Macha if he believed that as Macha seemed to give off the impression that he did not believe Braun. Macha kindly responded that was a total misinterpretation on the reporters part and Braun is fine...Former Brewer and current Reds pitcher David Weathers appeared in his 900th career game tonight to become the 20th player in Major League history to do that...Former Brewers farmhand Laynce Nix hit a pinch-hit RBI double in the ninth.