Hard-fought 13-inning win

What a crazy game that fried the neurons of every Reds fan out there but the Reds’ 9-8 win in 13 innings I’m sure was a big sigh of relief for many of you.

I’m not sure there would have been existing technology to measure the dark mood of the clubhouse had the Reds dropped that game after blowing the 8-0 lead through five innings.

The Reds leave town three games behind the Cardinals. Stressful game or not, that’s a heck of a lot better than five games.

“Boy, that’s about as hard a victory that you can get,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Notes:

 

*The Reds are now 5-4 in extra inning games but had dropped the last four in a row.

*Bronson Arroyo retired 14 of his first 15 batters and faced the minimum through his first five innings. The first hit was a questionable call by the official scorer. Daniel Descalso beat out a single on a grounder to Joey Votto because of a high toss to Arroyo covering first base. It became a moot point when Tony Cruz doubled to start the St. Louis sixth.

*Chris Heisey led off the game with a homer, the second time he’s done that this season.

*Jay Bruce’s home run in the first inning snapped a 0-for-14 skid.

*Fred Lewis’ homer in the fourth inning was his first since May 5 when he went deep against Houston as a pinch-hitter.

*Dontrelle Willis did not pitch tonight in relief at Triple-A Louisville as we were previously told by GM Walt Jocketty. What that means to the Reds situation up here, I do not know.

*I will not being finishing the final first half road trip with the Reds in Milwaukee. I’m headed home for a couple of days off and will be in Phoenix starting this weekend to cover the All-Star game and related festivities. Be sure to check back for updates, pictures, etc. from the event with the three Reds All-Stars — Votto, Phillips and Bruce, plus the Futures game stars Alonso and Mesoraco.
 
Quotes:

“You never know what can happen in the game of baseball. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t start the game. You don’t know when you can be a part of it.” — Ramon Hernandez, who delivered the game-winning pinch-hit double in the 13th.

“I could have gone another inning. My mind was set for more than one inning. Thank God we took the lead and I came in and I feel really good that I could help with the team victory.” — Aroldis Chapman, who notched his first big league save.

“It feels good to help us get a win.” — Jose Arredondo on his first victory as a member of the Reds. He pitched a scoreless 11th and 12th.

“Chapman was it. Just like their guy Valdes was probably it with Lynn going two innings yesterday. Sometimes you’ve got to roll the dice and do what you’ve got to do.” — Dusty Baker

“It’s a tough loss, because we invested a lot, a lot of pitching. But 8-0, to come back and tie it against a real good club… We had nine outs to win it at home. We had a chance. Just couldn’t do it.” –  Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa

9 Comments

This morning on Mike and Mike, Buster Olney called last night’s game a ‘signature win’ for the Reds! Really? Really really? The idea here isn’t to win the worst division in MLB and take a dive in the 1st rround of the p-offs. The idea is to be better than last year. What parts of this team are good to go? 1B, 2B and RF. Everywhere else there are problems of varying degrees of severity. It is possible the team’s so restricted money-wise (and legitimately so – I’m not one of those who expect an owner to spend money he’ll never get back) that it can’t make a trade for a good and probably expensive player. And maybe the potential saviors in Louisville are showcasing their lack of readiness (see the comment from the earlier entry). So, don’t make the big move – make a little move to remind players that ultimately their playing time and jobs are in jeopardy. I’m not a big fan of the ‘the beatings will continue until morale improves’ school of motivation, but … Something has to change or we’re left to expect a miracle.

I don’t know what a signature win might mean unless he’s referring to Arroyo getting hit late, the bullpen failing to douse the flames, and then proceeding to cough up the lead of three over the final three. Those sort of things might aptly be termed “signature” for the 2011 Reds, but rarely have they resulted in wins this year, so that works against the signature appelation. On the other hand, incredibly, they find themselves only three back. Calmness and patience ought to be in vogue no matter the number of “signature” failures in the soon-to-conclude first half.

Calmness, yes. Patience, no.

I actually agree with the signature win idea for the following reasons:

1.) They scored alot of runs early, something they have had a hard time doing this season.
2.) While they did give up the big lead (which I agree is inexcusable), they actually pulled out the win. This is something that they have not been able to do this season. Giving up that kind of a lead could have been completely demorializing.
3.) Following the Jay home run in the 9th, the bull pen stepped it up big time and kept the Reds in the game.
4.) Chapman gets the save. He has not shown up iunder pressure in the past, so this may be a big step in his development.
5.) The difference between being 5 games back and 3 games back is much bigger than just 2 games.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have alot of concerns about this team, and am not sure if they will compete to the end, but at the end of the day this game was a big for them, and hopefully will give them some energy going into the series with the Brewers, who are not playing well.

Rumor has it that there has been a Zack Cozart sighting at the Reds Hotel in Milwaukee. Will be interesting to see, if true, who is moved.

To Jason: You have a lot of good analytical points about this particular game, but most of them are rarities rather than typical strengths of the season, as you yourself admit. In that case, “signature” would not be the operative word.

Cozart and Fisher up and Janish and Volquez down to AAA. The word is that Willis will come up on Sunday and take Volquez’s place in the rotation.

I like the pitching move. Overdue, again. Not a fan of the position player moves. Leaves you without a defensive fix at short late in games.

Friday morning: I like the changes, but not the (one game) result.

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