The Brewers’ season, for all intents and purposes, appears to be over. That’s not to say it wasn’t a success, but even if the Crew did win behind Jimmy Nelson last night, it had lost five in a row before and fell out of second place in the Central.
Milwaukee didn’t win behind Nelson last night, though. Instead, the Reds scored six against him in the third (all with two outs), another three in the fourth and withstood a seven-run rally to send the Brewers to their sixth loss. Then the St. Louis Cardinals won; the Chicago Cubs won; the Pittsburgh Pirates won; and now the Brewers are only better than the team they will host again tonight.
Back at .500 and tied for third in the division feels like a breaking point. Brent Suter will be in charge of resisting further collapse. He’s been good this season on the whole but has looked vulnerable in his last two times out. Suter went five-and-a-third against St. Louis on the second of this month and only four in his last start at Target Field in Minnesota. Put those two starts together you get 13 hits and eight runs allowed.
He’s only thrown 55 innings so if Suter’s performance is indeed declining, it might just be a result of some more confident scouting reports. He doesn’t throw very hard and relies on location and pitch sequencing to keep guys off-balance. Guys like that can stick around for a long time but others will start to lose it if they have a go-to that big league hitters can adjust to. The Reds have seen him once but he came out of the bullpen. Suter put them down 1-2-3 and struck out two.
He was thought to face Tim Adleman but it looks like it will be Scott Feldman, making his return from almost a month on the DL, instead. Feldman had been experiencing some inflammation in his push knee. The time off should have him be feeling good, with a rested arm, coming into this one.
It was quite fleeting, but the Reds’ pitching staff looked formidable to start the season. Order restored itself and Feldman is back to being the ace. He isn’t a special starting pitcher but he’s the best the Reds have to offer. He doesn’t have to be special, either, not against a team that has lost six in a row and in danger of falling into fourth place after spending more than half the season in first. His mentality should be to make Milwaukee earn anything good that it does. He can manage that.
Free Pick: Cincinnati