In a game that took 5 hours and 22 minutes to play, the Cincinnati Reds finally came away with a win after a grueling 14-inning affair.
The Reds had plenty of chances to win the game, but it took until the bottom of the 14th. Devin Mesoraco lead off the inning with a screaming line drive that my tired eyes were hoping would just clear the wall. It didn’t, but it put the winning run on with no outs. Brandon Phillips reached next when he hit a ball that the catcher fielded. The catcher attempted to throw Mesoraco out at 2nd, but the throw was late. With 2 on and no outs, Chris Heisey showed bunt for the first two pitches before lining out to left field.
That brought Joey Votto to the plate. It would’ve been a nice storybook ending for him to have the walk-off hit on his birthday, but it was after midnight: his birthday was in the past. He struck out on a foul tip. Ryan Ludwick came to the plate next, and after a wild pitch that advanced both runners, he singled the winning run in on a ground ball that the shortstop couldn’t handle. The Reds players and fans could go to sleep, tired but happy.
The game wasn’t without drama. Brandon Phillips was hit by a pitch in the 8th inning. When he tossed the ball back to pitcher Jared Hughes, Hughes shouted something at Phillips and the umpires quickly intervened. Then after the game, Phillips tweeted this.
If Phillips’ charges of something racist being said are true–and I think that would be easy enough to prove with all the recording equipment on the field–then something should be done. There’s no place for that.
Following that, Aroldis Chapman began pitching the top of the 10th. Like his last appearance, his velocity was way down and he had less control. In his 2/3 of an inning, he struck out 1, but walked 3 before being removed for Sam LeCure. One bad outing isn’t a big deal. But two in a row becomes a trend, and that dip in velocity is especially troubling.
Overall, it was an ugly game that saw both teams leave 13 men on base. But the Reds won and their magic number has dropped to 12, thanks to a St. Louis Cardinals loss.
Mike Leake will try to eat some innings for the tired bullpen tonight when he starts against Kevin Correia. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm EDT.