The Milwaukee Brewers ended a little slump today by shutting out the Cincinnati Reds 1-0 at Great American Ballpark.
The win was much needed, as the four game losing skid the Brewers had been on the last few days had allowed the St. Louis Cardinals to chip away a little more at Milwaukee’s NL Central lead. But now, with a Cardinals loss and Brewers win, there’s a little more breathing room and a lot to smile about.
Matt Garza was phenomenal, going the distance for the complete game shutout win. He threw four perfect innings to start and pitched his way out of some late trouble to seal the win for the Crew. He also racked up nine strikeouts, with his ninth ending the game. All in all, the Reds managed only two hits out of the Brewers’ starter.
Homer Bailey was almost just as good, giving up only one early run to the Brewers. Jonathan Lucroy hit a first inning double and was brought in by an Aramis Ramirez single, and that was all Milwaukee needed.
The win came at a price, as Ryan Braun had to leave in the second with back spasms. There is no word on the Brewers official site whether the injury could send Braun to the disabled list, but I’m hoping it was only a minor thing that Braun didn’t want to grow into a bigger problem.
I will admit that I’m breathing easier after this win today. I don’t want to see the Brewers lose their hold on the NL Central, because the Cardinals are just as good a team, if not better, and they will be hard to catch if they pull ahead. Even the Reds aren’t far behind the Brewers, so getting back to winning ways, especially against a division opponent, is very important.
The Brewers can go for the series win tomorrow and put even more distance between themselves and the rest of the NL Central. After the rubber match tomorrow, the Brewers will head home to face the Phillies for four games, followed by the dreaded Cardinals for three to round out the first half of the season.