Yep, this was it: as good as it got.
Johnny Cueto was, once again, exactly the kind of pitcher the Reds should have wanted on the mound after losing two in a row. Ace tossed his 18th quality start out of his 23 starts this season, going 7 strong innings while allowing only 3 runs. He struck out 9, walked none, yielded only 6 hits, and did pretty much all you could ask. Unfortunately, "Unfortunately, the pitching" version 2012 struck...meaning "Unfortunately, the offense."
Honorable mention to Zack Cozart, whose double in the 7th broke up the perfect game being tossed by that Brewers rookie pitcher who will now fade away to anonymity. And folks, that's about it. Votto...?!
- In the bottom of the 1st, Nyjer Morgan singled, and Aramis Ramirez dunked a roo over the wall in left-center. It was the first homer surrendered by Johnny Cueto to a right-handed batter since the Nixon administration. Reds trailed, 2-0.
- Pitching took center stage for both teams, as both Cueto and David Freese...wait, umm...Tyler Fries...no, hrmm...Sasha Fierce shut down the opposing lineups. Zack Cozart broke up Sasha's perfect-game attempt in the 7th with a leadoff double, and Brandon Phillips eventually plated him with a sacrifice fly. Reds trailed, 2-1.
- The Brewers struck back immediately in the bottom of the 7th. Rickie Weeks led off with a double (!!) and later scored on a Jean Segura groundout. That's all she wrote, folks. Reds lose, 3-1.
- Pittsburgh lost, so the Reds maintain their 3.5 game lead in the NL Central.
- Washington, tied with the Reds for the best record in baseball entering today, is currently tied with the Disastros in the 10th inning. St. Louis currently trails the Giants 4-2 in the 9th.
- Someone put up the Joey Votto is Batman signal. This offense is in dire need of his production.
- I think the Reds were hoping they could keep it hot for daddy until Votto returned, but unfortunately that hasn't been the case. It's been frustrating to see, sure, especially after such a great July; but if you close your eyes, look inside, and have a dream a little less weird than Scrabbles, you might be able to envision a Votto return and the Reds' return to their ass-kicking ways. Sooner than later, kiddos.