Zack Greinke pitched eight shutout innings against the Reds this afternoon. He allowed only two hits. He struck out 11. That’ll get you a win most days. But not today.
That’s because Johnny Cueto pitched seven shutout innings himself and had better help from his bullpen and the Fates. The Reds beat the Brewers 2-1.
It was 0-0 entering the ninth when the usually reliable John Axford took over for Greinke, who had thrown 104 pitches to that point. Axford struck out the first two batters he faced, but then:
- Drew Stubbs singled;
- Joey Votto plated Stubbs with a double; and
- Brandon Phillips plated Votto with a single.
Life comes at you fast, man.
Milwaukee got one back with a Ryan Braun homer in the bottom of the ninth, and then threatened big by loading the bases with two out. Reds reliever Logan Ondrusek put out the fire by inducing a fly ball to end the game, however.
A tough luck no-decision for Greinke and a tough luck loss for the Brewers. But in a game this close the same would have been true if it went the other way.
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.