MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Chris Reitsma had 12 days to think about taking
a more aggressive approach on the mound, and it paid off with his
best performance in the major leagues.
Reitsma pitched a five-hitter to win for the first time since
May 21 as the Cincinnati Reds kept up their dominance over
Milwaukee with a 2-0 victory over the Brewers on Monday night. Reitsma (4-7), who had been 0-7 in his previous eight starts,
struck out four and drove in a run, throwing 89 pitches in his
first complete game in 47 major league starts. "It's really special,'' he said. In his previous start on July 3, Reitsma had his shortest outing
of the year, giving up nine unearned runs in four innings. Manager
Bob Boone talked to him last Wednesday about throwing more
fastballs to complement his changeup. "I spent a lot of time with him after his last outing,'' Boone
said. "He had really been turning into a finesse guy. He's got
those pitches, but when you throw a lot of changeups, that's the
most tiring pitch you can throw. "You start getting tired, you have everybody sitting on an
offspeed pitch, and that's when you make a mistake,'' he said.
"What I talked to him about was being more aggressive, about not
being afraid of his fastball.'' The All-Star break gave Reitsma nearly two weeks without a
start, enough time to rest and make changes to his pitching
approach. "He was terrific,'' Boone said. "He was much more aggressive
tonight.'' Boone estimated Reitsma threw almost 60 fastballs in beating the
Brewers. "My fastball was really good tonight,'' he said. "I had late
action on it, and it was down. Anytime you can do that in this
league, you are going to be OK.'' Reitsma ended a streak of 151 starts by Reds pitchers without a
complete game, since Elmer Dessens' six-hitter against Florida last
July 28. Cincinnati had only two complete games last season, tying
the NL record for fewest complete games, set by Milwaukee in 1998
and matched by the Brewers in both 1999 and 2000. Reitsma did not allow Milwaukee to get a runner to third base.
Alex Sanchez led off the third and sixth innings with singles, but
Eric Young twice grounded into double plays. "Five hits and 89 pitches, this guy wasn't messing around,''
Brewers manager Jerry Royster said. "We didn't have anything
going. He changes pitches very well. His fastball is 93 and his
changeup is 74. We don't hit guys who change speeds very well.'' During his losing streak, Reitsma compiled a 4.37 earned-run average over 45
1/3 innings, but the Reds scored only 20 runs in that span. With
the shutout, he lowered his season ERA to 3.15. Cincinnati improved to 10-2 this year against the Brewers,
including 5-0 in Milwaukee. The Brewers have the worst record in
the NL at 34-59. Jose Cabrera (4-6) gave up two runs and eight hits in six
innings while making his sixth career start since being converted
from a reliever. Cabrera's wild pitch put Cincinnati ahead in the first following
two-out singles by Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns, and Reitsma singled
in a run in the second. Milwaukee has been outscored 122-69 this year in the first two
innings. Dunn, who had been 1-for-11 since the All-Star game, had two
singles, a double and two stolen bases against the Brewers.
Reds C Kelly Stinnett was activated from the disabled list.
C Corky Miller was optioned to Triple-A Louisville. ... Going into
Monday night's game, the Brewers led the major leagues with a .286
batting average since May 25. Their season average was .262. ...
Dunn was on pace to walk 144 times, which would break the club
record of 132, set by Joe Morgan in 1975.