May 8, 2013

Game 34: Braves 4, Reds 5

W: Broxton (1-1) L: Kimbrel (0-1)


Mesoraco returns to the dugout after tying the game.

His wasn’t the walk-off homer, but Mesoraco was clearly the hero of this game.

It was looking like it was going to be another loss at the hands of a quiet offense last night, but at literally the last minute, they pulled it out to win and even the series with the Braves.

After 5 innings, Homer Bailey left the game trailing 4-2. Despite a completely respectable 3.83 ERA, Bailey remains, even now, just 1-3. Sam LeCure came in to pitch 2 perfect innings, followed by Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton with a perfect inning apiece, but it really didn’t look like it was going to be enough.

Not that the Reds hadn’t done anything. Shin-Soo Choo had smacked his sixth home run of the year, a solo shot in the third. In the fifth, Jack Hannahan drew a walk and was moved over by a Corky Miller single, and then Donald Lutz brought him in with a line-drive. In the eighth, Brandon Phillips brought in Zack Cozart on a sacrifice fly.

Then came the bottom of the ninth. Hannahan was out on strikes, Corky was out swinging, and those 6 runners left on base over the course of the game were a painful reminder of what might have been.

Devin Mesoraco at the plate takes a ball. Swings and misses by a mile. Two more balls. Another strike. Then my husband, sitting next to me in bed as we wait out the end of the game before turning of the lights, turns to me and says, “did that really just happen?”

Mesoraco’s solo shot was just barely over the wall in center field, but WOOOOOOOO! What a wonderfully unlikely turn of events. Check out the FanGraph of the Reds likelihood of winning the game up to that point. They hadn’t been above 50% chance of winning the whole game, but Mesoraco took them from 4% to 53% with just that one swing.

Source: FanGraphs

We were braced for extra after that, but Choo gave us a pleasant surprise by contributing his second home run of the night and letting the Reds win in walk-off fashion.

The win brings the Reds’ record to 19-15. Today they try to keep their home-series winning streak alive when they play the rubber match against the Braves at 12:35.

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