Brewers first team to throw out Hamilton this season
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers became the first team this season to punish Reds speedster Billy Hamilton for stealing.
Crafty Brewers pitcher Kyle Lohse kept Hamilton close by varying his deliveries in the sixth inning on Thursday, giving strong-armed catcher Martin Maldonado a chance to throw Hamilton out attempting to steal second base in a game tied at 2. Before Maldonado made the play, Hamilton had been 9-for-9 in stolen-base attempts to start the season.
"Obviously I know he likes to run, and can run," Lohse said following the Brewers' 4-2 win. "I was just trying to vary my times, trying to hold the ball and give him different looks. I didn't go back and look at it, but he couldn't have gotten that big a jump, and Maldy's got a cannon back there. To be able to pick it and fire a strike down there, I think it just fired everybody up to see that happen."
"They did a great job," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Lohse did a great job varying his times to the plate. He was very, very quick to the plate. We know Maldonado can throw well. I was hoping maybe we'd get an offspeed pitch or something there that would create a tougher angle for Maldonado to throw from. Or, that he'd throw a strike and Joey [Votto] would smoke it into the gap and we'd score a run. But it didn't work out that way today."
It snapped the Reds' streak of successful stolen-base attempts to begin the season at 17, the club's longest such run since those records started being kept in 1951. The last team to steal that many bases without being caught was the 2007 Twins, who went 19-for-19 to start the season.
"We've been very, very efficient with our stolen bases to this point.," Price said. "I hope that trend will continue."
Hamilton is coming off a 2014 season in which he stole 56 bases but was thrown out a Major League-leading 23 times.
He started his Major League career 13-for-13 in stolen-base attempts in 2013 before he was thrown out by then-Mets catcher Juan Centeno. Coincidentally, the Brewers promoted Centeno to the Majors on Tuesday.