Through the majority of the game, it wasn’t looking like it was the Reds’ day. Starter Mat Latos pitched well in his second start, continuing to make progress in erasing his history of poor Aprils, but Cincinnati was lacking on defense and offense. In particular, new center fielder Shin-Soo Choo had problems with the sun, dropping two balls and allowing 3 unearned Cardinals runs to score.
With the way Jaime Garcia was striking out Reds batters, it seemed like that would be enough. But the Reds kept staying close. Then in the 8th inning, pinch-hitter Xavier Paul singled into right field to score Jay Bruce and tie the game at 4.
The game felt like it was starting to turn to favor the Reds. And then the 9th inning happened. It started with a walk to Shin-Soo Choo. After getting Chris Heisey to pop out, everything fell apart for the Cardinals and their closer Mitchell Boggs. Joey Votto was intentionally walked, allowing Brandon Phillips to come to the plate and double in the go-ahead run.
A lead was all I was hoping for. What came next was a comedy of errors and ineptitude rarely displayed by a St. Louis ball club. 12 more batters went to the plate, and the Reds scored a total of 9 runs in the inning. Choo started everything with a walk, and in his second at-bat of the inning, he erased those 3 unearned runs he’d allowed by crushing a double that cleared the loaded bases.
All in all, it was a fun game. The Reds have faced nothing but good, playoff-contending teams to start the season, yet they sit atop the standings in first place with a 2 game lead on the Cardinals.