When Brewers first baseman Daniel Vogelbach crossed home in the sixth inning against the Reds on Thursday, he turned around expecting left fielder Christian Yelich to run right behind him.
Vogelbach and Yelich had just taken consecutive steps against Cincinnati star Luis Castillo, and Milwaukee right fielder Avisaíl García worked on a 10-pitch serve that kicked Castillo out of the game in favor of relief Lucas Sims. Brewers shortstop Willy Adames threw the ball to center left on the fourth pitch of the next at-bat, scoring Vogelbach, but as the ball bounced over the wall, Yelich had to hold on to the third.
At that point, the momentum was changing in favor of the crew. On the next pitch, second baseman Jace Peterson dropped a blooper into the shallow left field. Yelich and Adames scored on the baseline to put the Brewers ahead forever.
Milwaukee had only one hit in the first five innings and none from the second to fifth, but it took only five pitches for the Brewers’ day to completely flip in Thursday’s 7-2 win at Great American Ball Park.
“I expected Yeli to score. I didn’t think it was going to bounce, “Vogelbach said.” I didn’t really know what was going to happen, but luckily Jace came later with great success and got those two guys in. “
Prior to the top of the sixth, Castillo had pulled 14 consecutive Milwaukee batters and put them in order in the previous four innings. Even 37 minutes of rain that delayed the start of the fifth didn’t slow Castillo, as he retired the next four hitters he faced. But Vogelbach and Yelich saw 11 combined pitches in their pot appearances in the sixth inning, creating a chance for García to do some damage.
That damage didn’t make it to the scoreboard, since García ended up hitting. However, after working a 2-2 count, he failed three consecutive pitches, took one pass from the area and then made another. García eventually scored with an internal change on the tenth pitch of the at-bat, bringing Castillo’s number of pitches to 96 and forcing Reds manager David Bell to retire him from the game.
“That’s why I think Avi [García]’s at-bat was so important, “said Brewers manager Craig Counsell.” He had a 10 throws there, and if [Castillo] does a quick one out there, they’re probably thinking about sending it out there for the seventh. Sometimes it’s the at-bat that doesn’t finish in one hit but takes a big chunk from the starter, and I thought it was that. “
Once Castillo’s day was over, Milwaukee took advantage of the vulnerable Cincinnati bullpen.
Adames – fresh off a four-hit game Wednesday but no hits in his first two at-bats against Castillo – worked a 1-2 count on Sims’ first three throws. When Adames saw a curveball on court no. 4, hit the center-left double basic rule that tied the game two and put the runners in scoring position for Peterson, whose mistake put the Brewers ahead to stay.
“We know we have a good attack,” said starter Freddy Peralta, who scored six innings out of four but was removed from the game after a rain delay. “Sometimes you have to wait a bit and see if they wake up, but we know – everyone in the clubhouse knows – we have very good hitters on the team.”
The win comes after a double defeat on Wednesday in which Milwaukee lost 7-3 and lost third baseman Travis Shaw to a dislocated left shoulder in the process. The rebound performance, however, now gives the Brewers 11 wins in their last 13 games and ensured that the club would return to Milwaukee with a first-place share in the National League Central.
“We are having fun as a team and we look forward to whoever we play, trying to piece together wins,” Peterson told the Bally Sports Wisconsin broadcast. “It was a fun series, and [we’re] looking forward to more. “