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Impressive HRs can't get Reds out of early hole

MLB.com @m_sheldon

MILWAUKEE -- Eric Thames finally went a day without pummeling the Reds for a home run. Reds hitters responded by hitting four long balls on Wednesday, yet none of them put a real dent in the outcome during a 9-4 loss to the Brewers.

That's because all four homers -- totaling 1,629 feet combined -- came with nobody on base.

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MILWAUKEE -- Eric Thames finally went a day without pummeling the Reds for a home run. Reds hitters responded by hitting four long balls on Wednesday, yet none of them put a real dent in the outcome during a 9-4 loss to the Brewers.

That's because all four homers -- totaling 1,629 feet combined -- came with nobody on base.

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"Timing is everything," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

The first homer of the day -- a two-out shot by Joey Votto against Brewers starter Wily Peralta -- gave Cincinnati the lead and was easily the most impressive.

Slugging a first-pitch changeup to right field, Votto's shot traveled 420 feet according to Statcast™. It was obviously it would clear the fence from contact, with an exit velocity of 110.8 mph and 24-degree launch angle. It went down as the hardest-hit homer by any Reds player in the Statcast™ era, which began in 2015. It edged out Adam Duvall, who hit a ball 110.7 mph on July 9, 2016.

By the end of the first inning, however, the Reds were trailing by a 5-1 score and were forced to play catch-up. It didn't help that they were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Ultimately, the Reds dropped their seventh game out of the last eight and 10th in the last 13 while being swept in the series by Milwaukee. Although the offense had a pair of games last week when it notched two hits vs. the Orioles, the primary issue has been starting pitching.

"You can't consistently dig yourself out of the deficits we've had to deal with here lately," Price said. "The game against Chicago and two games here against the Brewers. That's too much to ask your offense to do with any regularity. It's not going to happen enough to where you can really start to pick up wins in succession."

Video: CIN@MIL: Duvall goes opposite field for a solo homer

It was Duvall who began the chipping away at this deficit by hitting a 1-1 Peralta fastball to the opposite field. The estimated distance was 403 feet with an exit velocity of 102 mph and 27-degree launch angle.

Two batters later, Scott Schebler launched an 0-1 changeup toward the back end of the right-field bleachers that almost matched Votto's feat. The ball traveled 417 feet and left the bat at 106 mph with a 31-degree launch angle. Schebler returned to lead off the top of the sixth and attacked a first-pitch fastball from Peralta and sent it to the left-center-field bullpen. It traveled 389 feet with a 19-degree launch angle and 107-mph exit velocity.

Video: CIN@MIL: Schebler cranks two home runs vs. Brewers

"I made a couple of good pitches that they put good swings on," Peralta said. "Two of those four home runs that I gave up I made good pitches down in the zone. Credit to them."

Votto, Duvall and Schebler are all tied for the team lead with seven home runs.

"Tough day," Schebler said. "Offensively, we didn't exactly get rolling. We put some good swings on the ball but nobody was really on. We didn't get that real momentum swing that we needed to get over the hump. I think we can take some positives out of it. That's what we'll do and move forward."

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.

Chicago White Sox, Adam Duvall, Scott Schebler, Joey Votto