With a 3-0 victory today, the Milwaukee Brewers closed the book on their 2023 regular season dealings with the Cincinnati Reds, and they closed the book with emphasis. Freddy Peralta struck out everyone he possibly could, the Reds offense once again was punchless against the vaunted Brewers bullpen, and the gap between the top two teams in the National League Central now stands at 1.5 games in Milwaukee’s favor.
The Brewers have been much, much better than the Reds when facing off all season. That point was made abundantly clear over the last two weeks in the 9 games in which they tangled. Fortunately, though, how good one team beats up on another is neither the sole purpose or primary indicator for full-season success in Major League Baseball.
So the Beers have the Reds number. The Reds, so far this season, have been able to have the number of plenty of other ballclubs, and the number of wins at season’s end in-total will have, ultimately, much more to say about things than their perils against Milwaukee.
A firm hat-tip to Ben Lively is due here in this brief Brewers/Reds post-mortem. The veteran righty battled through 6 scoreless innings alongside Peralta, though he was tagged for a 2-run tater in the Bottom of the 7th while being tasked with providing the kind of depth from the starting rotation that we’ve rarely seen all season. Still, a very, very cromulent effort from a guy who has become not just a staple of the team’s battered rotation, but a stable entity in its core.
The Reds now have a trip to Los Angeles, an off-day, and a series against the Dodgers before the trade deadline throws wrenches in all we know about all teams. It would be very, very nice to get back to the winning ways, something that may just have to get as far away from Milwaukee to make happen.