Thames Homers AGAIN, Crew beat Reds 4–2
The Brewers returned to the winning formula on Sunday in Cincinnati — swing a big bat early in the game and follow it with strong pitching in the late innings.
This recipe for success allowed the Crew to pick up the victory and take the four game series in Cincinnati, three games to one.
Reds starter Sal Romano, making his debut in the majors, lasted only three full innings, allowing three earned runs. The runs weren’t the thing that chased Romano from the game, however; it was his incredibly high pitch count.
The stat that best personifies Romano’s inability to retire batters was his first major league inning. Romano allowed two walks but no hits, and yet his pitch count exiting the frame was 36 pitches. The lack of an effective put-away pitch is what doomed Romano to fail.
The third inning began when Eric Thames reached first on an error by Reds embattled second baseman Arismendy Alcantara. This brought up Ryan Braun, who promptly hit his 22nd career home run at Great American Ballpark to put the Crew ahead 2–0.
The score wouldn’t stay there for more than a minute — Mayor of Ding Dong City Travis Shaw smashed a pitch to right that landed halfway up in the bleachers to push the Brewers lead to 3–0.
The Reds would strike back in the fourth when Eugenio Suarez hit a two-run homer to left that brought Cincinnati within one, 3–2 in the fourth.
This would be the only blemish for Brewers starter Wily Peralta, who went six innings and allowed only three hits in another great outing. Peralta’s quality start moved him to 3–0 on the season.
After another couple innings of scoreless baseball, Eric Thames got a run back for the Crew when he homered to right center that put the score at 4–2 Brewers. This is where it would remain, as the back half of the Brewers bullpen, Jacob Barnes, Corey Knebel and closer Neftali Feliz would shut the Reds down and the Brewers went on to win 4–2.
The win put the Crew at 7–6 on the season and 5–1 in the last six games. The Reds fell to 8–5, but still hold on to first place in the NL Central in this early season junction.
So far this season, the moves put in place by Brewers General Manager David Stearns have been vastly successful, to a point that it is almost ludicrous. Eric Thames looks like he’s still hitting in the Korean League, batting an incredible .368 so far. Neftali Feliz looks like he’s a rookie again, throwing 100 MPH in the closer role. Stearns has been a great general manager thus far, and we can only hope that he can continue his impressive balance of fiscal prudence mixed with on-field success.
The Crew will face off with the Chicago Cubs for another three game set starting tomorrow in the confines of Wrigley Field. Chase Anderson will be the first to pitch in the series tomorrow night.