Loss to Milwaukee Brewers wild card scenario

MILWAUKEE – In a game where Luis Castillo and Brandon Woodruff lived up to the hype in a pitcher’s duel Wednesday, it was Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Avisaíl García who stole the show.

García nearly did it all. He hit a go-ahead double off Castillo in the fourth inning. He threw out a runner at second base in the sixth and he robbed a homer in the eighth.

The Cincinnati Reds had no answers for García or Woodruff in a 4-1 loss at American Family Field. The Brewers have virtually locked up a division title before September, taking a 9.5-game lead over the second-place Reds.

Aug 25, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Christian Yelich (22) reacts after hitting a double as Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6) watches in the fourth inning at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Christian Yelich delivered Milwaukee’s first hit off Castillo when he hit a leadoff double down the third-base line, against a defensive shift, to open the fourth inning. García followed two pitches later with an RBI double into the left-center gap.

That run was the difference in a pitcher’s duel. The Brewers have won five consecutive games against the Reds to run away with the division. They have the largest divisional lead in MLB.

The Reds missed an opportunity to strike early against Woodruff. Jonathan India was hit by a 95-mph fastball on his left hand on the fourth pitch of the game. India was in obvious pain, checked by a trainer as he stood behind the plate, but he remained in the game. He’s been hit a league-high 19 times this year.

Aug 25, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA;  Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6) gets medical attention after being hit on the wrist in the first inning during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field.

Tyler Naquin, the next batter after India, dropped a bunt single against a defensive shift to put two runners on base with no outs in the first inning. Facing the middle of the Reds’ lineup, Woodruff escaped the jam. Nick Castellanos fouled out in right field, advancing the two runners up a base.  

Woodruff struck out Joey Votto in an eight-pitch at-bat, aided by a generous strike zone for a called third strike, and then induced an inning-ending groundout against Mike Moustakas.

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