Yeli, Counsell tossed as frustrations boil over

Peralta takes no-no bid into 6th before comeback stalls as Hader falters

July 11th, 2021

With just a handful of games separating the Brewers from the surging Reds, and one last head-to-head meeting before the All-Star break, this weekend’s series has had all the makings of a late September push for the National League Central crown. 

And as tempers flared between players and umpires with three combined ejections (two for Milwaukee, one for Cincinnati) in the Brewers' 4-3 loss Saturday, the game was hotter than the temperatures recorded at first pitch at American Family Field. 

Both manager Craig Counsell -- ejected for arguing balls and strikes -- and Christian Yelich -- ejected for arguing whether he made a motion toward second base -- highlighted the evening affair, in which recently nominated All-Star Freddy Peralta twirled five innings of no-hit baseball before running into trouble in the sixth.

Peralta lost his no-hit bid in the sixth on an infield single by Jesse Winker.

Nick Castellanos then tagged Peralta for a three-run home run during a six-pitch at-bat in which the count ran full on a ball that just missed the lower outside corner.

“I thought it was a really good pitch,” Peralta said. “I think it hit the bottom part of the line; really, really close. For me, it touched the line. [The umpire] was missing [pitches] the whole game. He was missing for both sides, too.”

Counsell was ejected for arguing that particular pitch when he came out to replace Peralta with reliever Brent Suter.

“Yeah, that was the pitch,” Counsell said. “I feel like it's been a rough series for the umpires, so yeah, there's a lot of guys upset, both teams.”

In all, Peralta finished with three earned runs on two hits in five-plus innings, walking two and striking out six.

In the bottom half of the frame, Yelich was ejected for disputing what was ruled as a motion toward second base for which he was tagged out after legging out a leadoff bunt single against the shift. Reds starter Vladimir Gutierrez had fielded the ball and overthrew first base, opening up the possibility for Yelich to advance.

“I think we agreed to disagree about some things,” Yelich said of his ejection.

“I know I didn’t turn my shoulders,” Yelich added. “It was pretty much, in my mind, just stopping my momentum. There was no shoulder turn, in my mind, to go. I think there’s a lot of things going on there. Obviously, we didn’t agree on what happened. It is what it is.”

Second baseman Jonathan India, who made the heads-up play to tag Yelich out after backing up first base, wasn’t particularly surprised about the result.

“I was just behind, covering in case it was a bad throw,” India said. “I thought I saw him take one step. I was just being safe and put a tag on him. He let me and he was out. I was just playing the game.”

The out proved to be particularly costly for the Brewers as another newly named All-Star, Omar Narváez, worked a one-out walk before Avisaíl García laced a double to left that Narváez attempted to score on, but he was tagged out at the plate.

“You don't know how the inning is going to play out,” said Counsell, when asked about how the call against Yelich impacted the inning. “It was a poor call and it cost us the baserunner.”

On the Reds’ side, Joey Votto was ejected in the eighth inning arguing a potential check-swing, further illustrating the tense emotions that often superseded the divisional matchup. 

“It’s part of the game,” Yelich said. “I don’t want to really speak on it too much. You guys have seen the frustrations on both sides. It’s a product of the series and emotions running high.”

The Brewers managed to tie the game at 3 in the bottom of the eighth on a two-run home run from Tyrone Taylor, who replaced Yelich in left field. Josh Hader, who was called on in the ninth inning, permitted a leadoff home run to Eugenio Suárez, and the Brewers were unable to answer.

It marked Suárez’s third career homer off Hader, the most of any hitter in the Majors against the southpaw closer.

“We gave ourselves a shot,” Counsell said. “Tyrone put a great swing on the ball. Got Josh in the game and, unfortunately, Josh fell behind Suárez. And we've done a good job with Suárez this year, we've pitched him really well, I think. Unfortunately, we left one over the heart of the plate there.”

Saturday’s loss marks back-to-back losses to the second-place Reds, who now reside five games back, with just one game left before the All-Star break.

“There’s such a long way to go,” Yelich added. “If we win the next four games or lose the next four games, it doesn’t guarantee either side anything. There’s still so much baseball to play. 

“We have 2 1/2 months left, so there’s a long way to go. There’s more to it because it’s a first- and second-place team in our division. We’re trying to widen our lead and they’re trying to close it. But at the end of the day, we’ve still got a long way to go no matter how the next four go.”