TOP PLAY (WPA): Scooter Gennett’s double in the second inning drove in Jean Segura (+.119 WPA).
Aramis Ramirez scored Gerardo Parra to give the Brewers a run in the first inning, but it was their second run that proved to statistically be the most important. Jean Segura led off the inning with a single to left. Scooter Gennett then lined a double to deep right field. Segura read the ball correctly off the bat and took off running, which allowed him to score from first. It’s not something that happens often and much of the credit goes to Segura’s legs, perhaps just as much as Gennett’s bat.
BOTTOM PLAY (WPA): Tucker Barnhart grounded into a double play (-.120 WPA).
Taylor Jungmann stymied the Reds’ offense for the first four innings; however, they began to make some noise in the fifth. Jay Bruce and Marlon Bryd began the inning with back-to-back hits to put runners at the corners. A force out at second would fortunately keep the runners in their places, bringing up the Reds’ catcher Tucker Barnhart in a key spot. This ultimately was the Reds’ best chance to plate a run throughout the entire game. Barnhart wound up grounding into a double play to end the inning and the Reds’ threat.
It’s probably no surprise that the key moment of the game for the Brewers was also the play that most negatively affected the Reds’ win probability. Taylor Jungmann was perfect through four innings. The Reds’ first hit (and base runner) came in the fifth inning when Jay Bruce led off with a double. Marlon Bryd followed up with a single. Bruce advanced to third base. Ivan De Jesus Jr. hit a sharp grounder to third, where Aramis Ramirez was able to look back the runner and go to second for the force out. Bruce was unable to score.
Still, with runners at the corners and now one out, Tucker Barnhart stepped into the box. He hit a grounder sharply up the middle. The ball deflected off Jungmann’s right hand which made for a bit of an awkward play for Jean Segura. The Brewers’ shortstop was luckily able to shovel it to Scooter Gennett, who was covering second and subsequently made a strong relay throw to first for an inning-ending double play.
TRENDS TO WATCH
Trade value rising?
Despite being above-average at the plate all year, Gerardo Parra has been on quite a tear recently. In today’s game, he collected two hits — including a home run, his seventh of the season. On the season, he has slashed .308/.345/.477 with seven home runs and a half-dozen steals. He may no longer be an elite defender, but he still adequately plays all three outfield positions and still possesses a strong throwing arm. With the way Parra is hitting, with Khris Davis returning from the disabled list, and with the trade deadline approaching, Parra’s time in Milwaukee appears to be nearing its end.
Adam Lind has also been good all season. Just like Parra, he had two hits including a home run (his 14th of the 2015 campaign). He has now hit .298/.373/.518 on the season. The first baseman has a modest salary this year, as well as a team option for $8 million in 2016. One would think that he’s going to be very attractive to a competitive team in need of a first baseman or designated hitter at the trade deadline.
Aramis Ramirez has not been good all year. In fact he was dreadful for the first two months. His season slash line is .244/.286/.438 — but things have been picking up for the notoriously late bloomer. In the last 30 days, he’s hit .280/.313/.505. He has even done better in the last 14 days, as he’s mashing to the tune of a .342/.409/.605 slash line. On Sunday, he added two more hits. It’s unclear if the Brewers will be able to move him by the trade deadline (July 31), but it will only help if he keeps hitting like this. And if not, it might still be possible to move him in August before the waiver deadline.
Neal Cotts has had something of an uneven season. He’s had five blow-up outings, but the rest have been excellent. He owns a 25.4 percent strikeout rate and has whittled down what was once an ERA over 5.00 to just 3.74. The Brewers won’t likely be able to trade him for much, but there should be a chance to trade him. That’s not something most people expected even a month ago.
This has nothing to do with trade value, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge Taylor Jungmann’s start today. He went eight-complete innings, allowing just one run in the eighth. He allowed four hits and only surrendered a pair of walks to go with four strikeouts and several pop-ups. In his first four major-league starts, he has compiled a sparkling 2.43 ERA and a solid 3.76 DRA.
COMING UP NEXT
Monday July 6, 7:1o pm CST – Kyle Lohse vs Matt Wisler
The Brewers return home for a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves. The Brewers will send veteran righty Kyle Lohse to faceoff against rookie Matt Wisler. The Braves acquired Wisler earlier this season from the Padres in the Craig Kimbrel trade.
Wisler has spent most of the year in Triple-A, but will be making his fourth major-league start. He has thrown 17.1 innings in his first three starts with an 11.1 percent strikeout rate, 6.9 percent walk rate, 0.52 home-run rate, .242 BAA, 1.21 WHIP, 2.60 ERA, 3.69 DRA, and 117 cFIP. He features a fastball (92-93), slider, change-up, and curveball. Wisler has mid-rotation-or-better potential, but as with any rookie, it should take plenty of time to realize it.
Kyle Lohse allowed four runs in each of his last two starts. In his last start, he didn’t allow a home run, but in his prior start, he allowed two. On the season, he has a 1.79 HR/9, but he also has a .283 BAA. He’s getting hit often and he’s getting hit hard. He hasn’t shown any signs of improving, which obviously does not bode well for the Brewers’ chances of trading him for something productive.
Carlos Gomez missed Sunday’s game after being hit in the wrist by a pitch Saturday night. He could be ready to return by Monday. If not, then Tuesday seems probable. It’s not expected to be a long-term injury.
Khris Davis is nearing a return as well. He’s been on the disabled list since the end of May after tearing the meniscus in his knee. He had surgery to remove it and has been participating in a rehab stint with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. It’s possible he will be activated as soon as Monday, though sometime on the upcoming home stand seems certain.