I had Dustin Hoffman in my head last night. The Rain Man:
Elimination game. Yeah. Ten left on base. Yeah. Got to go get Leake, Dusty. Yeah. Runners in scoring position. Bad. Yeah. Elimination Game. Yeah.
This series should probably be over now. I keep searching for reasons why it isn’t. I keep coming back to the obvious. This team has won all year long with pitching and the long ball. Before yesterday, the pitching has been spectacular in this series. The long ball was there in AT&T Park, of all places. But, the Reds are being out slugged in of all places, Great American Small Park.
I’m mad at Dusty. He didn’t take advantage of Bruce Bochy when he was vulnerable Tuesday night. Didn’t make him burn his last position player on the bench. Didn’t make him get his Closer out of there. Said Hector Sanchez was too dangerous. When the Baseball Gods hand you a free raffle ticket, you don’t say, “no thanks.” Not in October, when the margin for error is razor thin. You don’t tell the media it’s Scott Rolen’s turn to play because “it’s his last rodeo,” that Todd Frazier will “get his chance.” But this is a hot discussion for a cold November day. There are more pressing matters today.
Remember that great dugout mantra the Reds had in 2010?
“Need ya on third, Brucie.”
It was a call to arms, a bumper sticker-type message to everybody on the team to go from first to third. Take the extra base. Be aggressive. Play Cincinnati Reds Baseball, as DatDude shouted up close and personal into the camera at the All Star Game, a smile as white and as wide as all get out. Now, they need more than third from Brucie. Brucie being a metaphor for the team as a whole.
I have faith that Latos will keep it close for the home team. He has “Guts” tattooed on him somewhere. Of that, I’m sure. I believe. Maybe the Reds can do it today with Small Ball. Maybe Miguel Cairo is the hero today. You don’t rule out anything in the postseason. But, I have a feeling it’s going to take the very thing that got the Reds to October 11th in the first place: Pitching and The Long Ball.
Need ya to go yard, Brucie.