Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….
FINAL — 10 innings
W: J. Hoover (5-5)
L: K. Farnsworth (1-1)
S: A. Chapman (38)
–I do not believe what I just saw.
–The Reds were down 5-2 as the game entered the top of the ninth inning. That’s when the magic started.
With one out, Ryan Ludwick singled. Jay Bruce grounded out for the second out, but a Pirate error allowed Todd Frazier to reach second, and Ludwick scored, drawing the Reds to within two runs. Zack Cozart then blooped a single over the 2B’s head, putting runners on the corners with two outs.
After two pitches, Dusty Baker sent Billy Hamilton out to pinch-run for Cozart (not sure why he did it after two pitches, but I’m not complaining). On the first pitch, Hamilton stole his tenth base of the season. Then Devin Mesoraco put together an epic AB, fouling off four pitches, and on the ninth pitch he saw, he hit a ball that went off Pirates 3B Pedro Alvarez’s glove for an infield single.
And Billy Hamilton scored the game’s tying run, from second base, on an infield single.
Then, in the top of the tenth, Joey Votto lifted a fly ball to left field that barely cleared the fence for the game-winning homer. Clutch.
A few minutes later, Aroldis Chapman had blown away the heart of the Pittsburgh lineup and the game was over. Biggest win of the season.
–Mesoraco went 2-4 with a double and two RBI. Ryan Ludwick was 3-5 with a run scored and an RBI.
–Todd Frazier hit a homer, but his biggest contribution was on defense, where he made two gorgeous plays.
–Outstanding relief work by Manny Parra, JJ Hoover, and Chapman.
–The Reds might have won in regulation, but Shin-Soo Choo dove head-first into 1B, and was retired for the third out of the ninth inning. If he had kept sprinting through the base, he very likely would have been safe and the Reds would have scored the go-ahead run.
That’s not really a negative. Choo has been great this year. But I still don’t understand why major league players do this.
–Not sure why Logan Ondrusek would ever pitch in an important game like this one.
–Are you kidding me? The Reds were down 5-2 in the ninth, and dead in the water. Somehow they won. This feels like an important win, although that may just be wishful thinking.
–The Redlegs are now tied with the Pirates for second place in the NL Central division.
–The Reds took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but Mat Latos surrendered that lead immediately. The Pirates started the game with back to back homers, a walk, and a single, before Latos recorded an out.
Fortunately, Latos settled down, but he wasn’t sharp tonight. At the end of the day, he had thrown six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks.
–Billy Hamilton is a game-changer. There is no question whatsoever now that Hamilton will be on Cincinnati’s post-season roster. And he may have won next spring’s CF competition today, too.
–Look at that FanGraphs chart below. Love it.
–Sam LeCure hit Andrew McCutchen to lead off the eighth. With two strikes. With the Reds down 5-2 and needing to keep the game close. And the Pirates — as we have become accustomed to seeing — got their panties in a bunch, as if the Reds would ever hit a batter in that situation. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle came out to argue when both benches were warned, and he ultimately was tossed out of the game.
This whole act by Pittsburgh is so tiresome. Why do they get so irritated over things that clearly aren’t intentional? Seems like it happens every single time these teams play.
–Homer Bailey vs. AJ Burnett tomorrow night. All of a sudden, I really regret not driving up to Pittsburgh this weekend, as I had planned.
Biggest win of the year for the Reds. Period.
— Chad Dotson (@dotsonc) September 21, 2013
That was clutch, right? Votto: best hitter in NL.
— Brian Kenny (@MrBrianKenny) September 21, 2013
Votto would have had more RBI on that homer, if only BP had gotten on base.
— Redleg Nation (@redlegnation) September 21, 2013
I'm trying to decide where Billy Hamilton belongs on NL MVP ballot. #wow
— Joe Strauss (@JoeStrauss) September 21, 2013
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at email@example.com.