June 23, 2006

Game 72: Reds 6, Mets 5

The Reds pulled out what seemed like an impossible win on Wednesday when they took the third game of the four-game series against the Mets, 6-5.

Joe Mays took the mound for the Reds and allowed two runs (earned) on eight hits and two walks through six innings of work. He left the game with a two-run lead, so of course Chris Hammond allowed three runs when he came in to work the seventh.

Jason Standridge allowed zero runs on one hit and one walk in the eighth for the win. Todd Coffey allowed zero runs on zero hits and one walk in the ninth for the save.

There were six Cincinnati runs, but the two from the top of the ninth are the story of the game. Here were the Reds, on the losing side of a 4-5 score in a game that had looked to be theirs until the bullpen imploded. Again. They know that, somewhere, George Grande is uttering the phrase “last round-up time” and they know how frequently these opportunities have been slipping away lately.

When Felipe Lopez strikes out swinging against Billy Wagner, it looks like its going to be one of those times. When Ken Griffey, Jr. grounds out, hope is all but lost. Austin Kearns walked; too bad Austin Kearns wasn't up to knock himself in.

But then pinch-hitter David Ross walked. Things start looking like they might be worth getting interested in again. Narron sends in Quinton McCracken to pinch-run, which at least means he can't strike out, and sends Rich Aurilia to the plate. Aurilia's got some retribution in mind after GIDP-ing the last two outs the day before.

Aurilia hits an easy grounder to third, but David Wright can't seem to figure out what to do with the ball. No one's covering third and he can't get his head around throwing to first. Everyone is safe.

That's when Brandon Phillips marches to the plate. He's hitless on the night, but looking to make something happen. He works a 2-2 count and smacks one to center field. Kearns scores! McCracken scores! The New York crowd fails to go wild as the Reds take the one-run lead!

Javier Valentín struck out looking to to end the inning, but it was enough. Coffey saved the day, and all was well in Redsland. The win brought their record to 39-33. They would look to win the series on Thursday afternoon when they sent Eric Milton out to face Pedro Martinez.

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