Still standing, and winning
It’s games like Thursday’s 3-2, 10-inning win over Arizona that are Exhibit A as to why the Reds can’t be counted out in the NL Central race. The Reds should have buried themselves with all the missed chances yet they were the ones pounding on Joey Votto after his RBI single with the bases loaded won the game.
There were 16 runners left stranded, including 13 before Votto’s final at-bat. In the fourth with the bases loaded and no outs on a Paul Janish walk. the Reds came up empty in a hurry. It took a combined four pitches for Davis to get Harang (first pitch pop-out), Taveras (first-pitch groundout to third for fielder’s choice play at the plate) and Hairston (second-pitch grounder to third base for a force out).
Aaron Harang is a hard-luck guy again — zero wins in his last seven starts despite four quality outings. He pitched seven solid innings and deserved better.
Jay Bruce’s perfect one-hop throw to nail Alex Romero from scoring on Justin Upton’s fly to right field in the 10th might have been the defensive play of the year. He had to go his right on that ball before making the throw. It wasn’t as easy as he made it look.
“It was a bang-bang, do or die play,” Bruce said.
“I was telling Mark Berry that they’re trying to kill the old skipper, especially with leaving all of those runners on base like that,” Dusty Baker said. “That would have been a back breaker if they got out of that last inning there. Pressure busts the pipe. We kept the pressure on them all day long.”
“Teams get hot and cold when it comes to that stuff,” Votto said of the runners stranded “Obviously, it comes down to execution and we didn’t do it today. But I think it says a lot that we battled back against their closer and tied the game up and won the game in extra innings considering how well Davis threw today.”
“Any time you’ve got them on the ropes and can’t get the guys in, it’s frustrating,” Bruce said. “But all that frustration goes away when you win.”
Just like on Thursday, the Reds have made it look far from pretty this season but look where they are as July 4 nears. They are 39-38 and 2 1/2 games out of first place with the second-place Cardinals up next. The Brewers have the Cubs this weekend.
“Something is going to shake this week,” Baker said.
I’m off for a couple of games. Happy July 4th to everyone and catch you on Sunday.
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