I know it's only May and there is still a long way to go, but damn this series has me excited! When you've sludged through 8 straight losing seasons, meaningful games after April are always a welcome sight. It's been more than 2 years since the Reds have played a game of this magnitude this late in the year. What's amazing is that there isn't a single player in tonight's lineup who played for the Reds in that last meaningful game (mainly because Brandon Phillips and Edwin Encarnacion are banged up).
I could just stare at Johnny Cueto's stats all night. If it weren't for that stupid 6 walk performance back on April 17th, he'd be having a damn near perfect season. He's gone 7 innings or more in 7 straight starts and he's only allowed more than 3 runs in one of those starts. Over that stretch, he has a 1.98 ERA and has only allowed 4 HR. That's pretty damn awesome.
The biggest problem for Cueto this year has been run support. The Reds have only averaged 3.98 R/G for him this season, and they've only scored more than 4 runs in 3 of his starts this year. I wonder if Cueto and Aaron Harang sit around in the dugout and wonder why Bronson Arroyo gets all of the love from the offense.
The Reds smacked around Braden Looper back at the beginning of May when they last faced him, knocking him out of the game after just 3.1 innings. Looper gave up home runs to Jay Bruce and Willy Taveras that day as the Reds scored 5 runs off of him in route to a 6-5 victory. He beat the Reds on April 15th though as Micah Owings and Jared Burton were hit hard by the Brewers offense.
The Brewers come into this game having lost 5 of their last 6, which comes right on the heels of winning 9 out of 10 games. The Reds have won 7 of the last 11 meetings between these two teams, and they've also won 8 of the last 12 games they've played in Miller Park. The Brewers are a good team, but there is definitely no reason for the Reds to be intimidated heading into Milwaukee.