Jeff Suppan pitched well enough to win on Friday night, but neither the Brewers defense nor the offense did much to help him. Suppan surrendered three unearned runs and the Brewers were unable to cash in on multiple scoring opportunities against Bronson Arroyo in the Brewers’ loss.
The Brewers’ best chance to score came in the 7th inning, when they had the bases loaded and one out against Arroyo. Ryan Braun hit a high chopper to the left side of the infield, where the ball was fielded by Edwin Encarnacion. The Reds’ third baseman fired to second to start a double play, but Mike Cameron’s late slide and blatant attempt to break up the double play resulted in an interference call, which ended the inning. The irony was that a late slide likely wasn’t needed — there was a good chance that Braun would’ve been able to beat out a throw to first, plating a run on the fielder’s choice.
The baserunning blunder was Cameron’s second big gaffe of the game. In the 4th inning with a runner on first and one out, Cameron misplayed a single to center, getting fooled by a late hope and letting the ball roll to the warning track. The runner scored easily, giving the Reds a 1-0 lead. The second error came in the next inning, when J.J. Hardy was credited with a throwing error when he misplayed a routine grounder to short. Prince Fielder was unable to dig out the throw on a short hop, and the ball actually hit Fielder in the face before getting away from him.
Needless to say, it was an ugly game all around. The fact that St. Louis, Chicago, and Houston all won while the Brewers lost makes it even uglier. The Brewers are now in a three-way tie for second place in the NL Central with the Cubs and Astros, three games behind the Cardinals.
I’m not one for “must win” games, but it’s starting to look like the Brewers are going to need a series win in Cincinnati in order to keep pace, especially with the Cards and Cubs playing the Diamondbacks and Nationals, respectively.