Brewers mum on Chapman’s acrobatics
In some perverse way, Bronson Arroyo might have done the Brewers a favor had he finished his no-hitter on Tuesday night. He could have spared the Brewers their ninth consecutive loss by one or two runs, and spared closer John Axford another maddening night on which one little mistake decided the game.
He also could have spared the Brewers the indignity of watching an opponent somersault his way off the mound after a game-ending strikeout.
Reds closer Aroldis Chapman, who tumbled not once but twice toward his catcher after sealing Cincinnati’s 4-3 win over the Brewers at Great American Ball Park, won no fans in either clubhouse with his dismount.
“I didn’t see it,” Brewers right fielder Corey Hart said. “I don’t care.”
“I didn’t see that. He did a somersault after?” infielder Taylor Green said. “Yeah, that’s… I’ve never seen that, really. That’s tough.”
Reds manager Dusty Baker said he missed it, too.
“I talked to Bronson on the way in and he said, ‘You didn’t see that?’” Baker said. “I turned to the guys and said, ‘Way to go.’ The next thing I looked on the board and saw him rolling around. That’s something Bryan [Price, Cincinnati’s pitching coach] has addressed. I know [Chapman] was happy, especially after the bad week he had last week, but that’s something — we don’t play like that.”
A great point made by many of you on Twitter: The Brewers have been the kinds of postgame antics in recent seasons, from the untucking of jerseys to the famous “bomb” celebration in 2009 when the Giants took a tough loss in a pennant race. It hurts more when you’re on the wrong side of it, an unfamiliar feeling for the Brewers after the success they had last season.
Anyway, these Brewers have bigger issues.
Tuesday’s loss guaranteed that the Brewers would leave Cincinnati on Wednesday night further from first place than they arrived. At 33-41, they trail the National League Central-leading Reds by 8 1/2 games.
And closer John Axford can’t seem to shake his recent funk. He is 3-for-6 in save opportunities since June 12 with three losses (including Tuesday’s) — more blown saves and more losses than he suffered all of last season. He made a rare appearance Tuesday in the eighth inning of a tie game, manager Ron Roenicke said, because the Brewers determined earlier in the day that Axford needed the work. He had not pitched since saving a 1-0 win over the White Sox on Friday.
Axford never had a chance to settle in. Stubbs, one day removed from the disabled list, hit a first-pitch fastball over the center field fence.
“Everything else in that inning was great,” Axford said. “I’m almost at a loss for words now, it seems like. It’s just kind of exhausting. Even when I feel good and things seem to be clicking, one pitch, one play, one something happens that turns everything else around on me.”
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