Wed. Final: Reds 4, Brewers 3
By Todd Welter
Next game: Thursday, Aug. 27 vs. Cincinnati
There are numerous adjectives to describe what Claudio Vargas did to blow a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning. The same adjectives could be applied to Ryan Braun in the 10th inning as well.
Since there are too many list and to keep it clean, let's just stick to the noun which would be error and mistake. Vargas' throwing error allowed the Reds to tie the game. Braun misplaying a fly ball allowed Darnell McDonald to break the tie with a pinch-hit, RBI-double in the 10th inning as Cincinnati topped the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 at Miller Park.
Vargas made a very questionable decision in the eighth inning when Kevin Barker hit a high chopper that only Vargas had a play on. With Scott Rolen standing on third, Vargas did the fundamental thing by making sure he kept Rolen in his place. Vargas then turned to first to get Barker out.
The problem was he hesitated. Instead, Vargas air-mailed the ball into about the third row which allowed Rolen to easily score. That error put the Brewers (61-65) on the path towards their seventh loss in the last 10 games.
Mike Burns (3-5) ended up with the loss as he gave up the go-ahead run in the 10th inning. He is not completely to blame as Braun misread McDonald's fly ball and allowed it to sail over his glove. This was the second game in a row where the bullpen failed to protect a lead or keep the game tied.
Reds starter Kip Wells made it difficult for the Crew to score before the fifth inning. The Brewers had runners on base in all five innings that Wells pitched but could not plate a run in the first four innings. Wells was very effective in getting key ground-ball outs to stall the Crew's offense.
So the Brewers took to the sky in the fifth inning to get some runs off Wells. Jody Gerut led off the inning with a solo shot and Prince Fielder smacked a towering, two-run shot to right field that gave the Crew a one-run lead. Unfortunately, that would be the only offense Milwaukee mustered.
Wells left the fifth inning with a no-decision as he gave up three runs, seven hits, walked three and struck out two.
Brewers starter Braden Looper had a solid outing but lost out on a chance to pick up his 12th win of the year--which would have tied his career-high for wins in a season. Looper gave up just two runs, five hits, a second-inning home run to Laynce Nix, three walks and struck out four in six solid innings of work.
Daniel Ray Herrera (3-4) got the win by being apart of Reds bullpen effort that retired nine of the last 10 Brewers hitters. Francisco Cordero picked up his 27th save by wrapping up the Reds' (54-71)victory.