MILWAUKEE -- At some point, especially on the nights when Homer Bailey pitches well, the law of averages should kick in for the Reds. But except for one instance in 2018, Cincinnati loses games started by Bailey, regardless of whether he pitches well, poorly or somewhere in between.Monday's 5-2 loss
MILWAUKEE -- At some point, especially on the nights when Homer Bailey pitches well, the law of averages should kick in for the Reds. But except for one instance in 2018, Cincinnati loses games started by Bailey, regardless of whether he pitches well, poorly or somewhere in between.
Monday's 5-2 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park came despite a quality start from Bailey, who gave up three runs on eight hits over six innings. Cincinnati has lost 16 of Bailey's 17 outings this season, including all six of his quality starts. However, it is a .500 team (54-54) when anyone else on its pitching staff starts.
"Yeah, he's not been fortunate, that's for sure," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "The main thing is he's throwing the ball well and getting us deep into the game and not wearing out the bullpen. He's doing his part there. You've got to tip your cap sometimes to the way the Brewers pitched tonight."
Bailey is 1-11 with a 6.21 ERA for the season, with his lone victory coming on May 12 at Los Angeles.
Milwaukee's three runs off Bailey came via two home runs he allowed in his final two innings. The first Brewers clout came in the fifth inning with the Reds leading, 2-0, when Christian Yelich lifted a 1-1 curveball to left field for a solo shot.
The game turned in the sixth inning when Bailey couldn't hold onto a tenuous one-run lead. He opened the frame with a ground-ball single by Jesus Aguilar into right field, and then a first-pitch fastball to next batter Travis Shaw broke his bat. Shaw came back by hitting an 0-2 fastball to the right-field corner for a two-run homer that put Milwaukee ahead for good.
"Fastball, up and in. The same pitch that he broke his bat maybe two pitches before that," said Bailey, who walked one and struck out five. "Well, that kind of sucks. That's about all you can say."
In general, Bailey was able to throw his fastball for strikes. Of the 35 times he threw it, he got 29 strikes with 11 called strikes and four swings and misses. Milwaukee was often swinging early, and one first-pitch fastball was grounded into a double play by Jonathan Schoop in the fourth inning.
"We knew we weren't going to roll out there and score 10 tonight. We found a way to get enough the third time through the order," Shaw said.
Bailey received little help from his lineup, which also hit two home runs against Brewers starter Chase Anderson. However, they were the only two hits in the game against Anderson, and both came in the second inning.
"We've got such a good offense that I always feel like they were going to put up a few runs. Today was one of the rare occasions when they didn't," Bailey said.
Eugenio Suarez led off the second inning with a booming homer to left-center field on a 1-1 changeup for his 28th of the season and second in as many days. Two batters and three pitches later, Phillip Ervin took a 1-0 fastball to left field for a 2-0 Cincinnati lead.
That would be the Reds' final hit or baserunner for a long time, as Anderson and reliever Josh Hader combined to retire the next 20 Cincinnati batters.
"After those homers, we think that we've got him, but he started pitching better and making good pitches and threw more strikes," Suarez said of Anderson. "[Bailey] pitched great. He missed a couple of pitches, but I think he pitched great. He was throwing more strikes, not walking a lot of people and I think he's going to be good."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Late rally falls short: The streak without a Reds baserunner ended when Mason Williams led off the ninth inning with a pinch-hit single against reliever Jeremy Jeffress. A one-out walk to Jose Peraza brought Scooter Gennett to the plate representing the tying run. But Gennett attacked a first-pitch, 97 mph fastball and grounded to third base for the game-ending double play as Jeffress notched his fifth save of the season.
"A couple of really good at-bats there, Williams and Peraza," Riggleman said. "We had the right guy at the plate. Jeffress just made the necessary pitch to get the ground ball. We felt pretty good there after being down the whole game without any action out there. All of a sudden we're a couple of swings away."
Reds reliever Jared Hughes gave up two insurance runs to the Brewers in the eighth inning on Keon Broxton's pinch-hit RBI triple and a Manny Pina sacrifice fly. It snapped Hughes' scoreless streak at 11 1/3 innings over his last 11 appearances since July 23. It was also the first time he's allowed multiple runs since July 26, 2017, for the Brewers against Washington when he surrendered four runs over one-third of an inning, spanning 78 appearances. It was the longest such streak by any reliever since Javier Lopez went 82 consecutive appearances in 2015-16 without giving up multiple runs.
HE SAID IT
"Anderson really shut us down and then Hader, he's quite a weapon. Jeffress did what he did. Very well pitched ballgame on their part. We pitched good, but they just totally shut us down there except for two homers." -- Riggleman
Coming off of the shortest start of his career, Sal Romano will be looking for vast improvement on Tuesday when the Reds meet the Brewers at Miller Park at 8:10 p.m. ET. In a loss to Cleveland last Tuesday, Romano lasted 1 2/3 innings and gave up six earned runs on seven hits. In his brief career vs. the Brewers, Romano is 0-5 with a 5.70 ERA in five starts. Junior Guerra will start for Milwaukee.
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.