David Ross and the Reds walked off with the win on Wednesday in one of those games that sticks with you for a long time. And in a good way, for a change.
Aaron Harang was downright shaky, giving up a grand slam to Jim Edmonds in the first inning. He'd allow six runs (five earned) on eight hits and three walks through six innings. If you're looking for a bright side, he also struck out seven.
Oh, and the Reds won. That was pretty good too.
Then, about everyone in the bullpen took their turn on the mound. Rheal Cormier pitched a scoreless two-thirds. David Weathers, Bill Bray, Todd Coffey, and Kent Mercker each pitched a third of an inning, with only Bray allowing a run (earned). Ryan Franklin worked a hitless ninth for the win.
Adam Dunn, Scott Hatteberg, and Edwin Encarnación each hit a home run to score the Reds' first three. Dunn and Brandon Phillips brought in three more in the sixth to keep it close.
But the bottom of the ninth is the story of the game. In exactly the sort of situation which you know the Reds' can win but they never seem to actually do, they found themselves down by one in the bottom of the ninth. Somewhere, in an eerily quiet distant wood, the wild George Grande was sounding his characteristic cry
“Last round-up time for the Reds.”
The fading and strikingly overpaid giant Jason Isringhausen on the mound. The uncharacteristically adept choice of pinch hitters, Javier Valentín in Royce Clayton's place at the plate. Though Javy would score all of the runs in two of the games againt the Cards this series, tonight was not his night and he struck out swinging.
Rich Aurilia, the veteran presence that we don't actually mind on the team, walked on four pitches. Chris Denorfia was sent out to pinch run for him, and I had a sudden flashback to that time Jason Romano was sent out to pinch run and was picked off before his name was even announced. Fortunately, despite being nearly as good looking, Deno is a better baserunner than Romano.
Up to the plate strides the nine-hitter, David Ross who came into the game in the seventh. Just one out and Ryan Freel was due up next. This could work out.
But he didn't even let it get that far. With a 1-1 count, Ross let fly a homer to center field. 412 feet. His arms fly up in the air just as mine do at home just as everyone's do. Hooray!
The win brought the Reds' record to 59-55 and ensured the split of the four-game series. They would finish it out on Thursday with Bronson Arroyo facing Anthony Reyes.