Usually after a game like this, we don’t write much of a recap or give many thoughts because we’re completely pissed; which you might know about us if you follow us on Twitter. But last night was one of the most entertaining and hard fought ballgames I’ve watched all year long. It was just a great, exciting until the final out game. A cliffhanger 11-inning ballgame.
The team with the most to lose, lost.
Jay Bruce has that nice, flat stroke going right now doesn’t he? Hitting to all fields, and looking great. He just missed having an absolutely huge night at the plate too. His 432-foot home run to the moon deck off Luke Hochevar put the Reds up 4-0, but that’s where the fun would stop for a while.
Bronson Arroyo had two innings that were trainwreck. Otherwise he coasted and gave 7 more innings. The bullpen threw pretty well. I was especially impressed with Logan Ondrusek.
And despite what Hal McCoy will tell you about this game–and believe me I know this one hurt–there was a little magic kicked up down at the ballpark yet again. The Reds nearly rallied off Joakim Soria in the bottom of the 11th inning. This was especially exciting because the Royals were out of pitchers.
But fate would have it that Scott Rolen was only meant to get four hits in this one, not a fifth that would have tied it. His liner had just enough gas to be caught in left field and end the game. And that leads beautifully into people saying that Dusty Baker can’t manage, and to second guess him into today on why Jay Bruce wasn’t up there bunting with runners on first and second with no one out in the 8th inning.
Joey Votto cost the Reds this game, not Dusty Baker. And for what it’s worth, Votto has looked asleep at the wheel for the past four games or so. The at-bat he had with guys at first and third with 1 down in the bottom of the 11th after another big clutch single by Brandon Phillips was hard to look at. First pitch, terrible approach. But to cut a beautiful throw by Drew Stubbs and really not have any reason for it that I’ve seen in quote by the media, that’s just inexcusable. And props to Stubbs, who had another assist in this ballgame and uncorked a hell of a throw that would have saved the game for the Reds in the top of the 11th inning.
All in all, a great ballgame. But the team with so much on the line came up just short–and not just once but a handful of pivotal times. And that’s why it’s baseball. And that’s why it’s great. But redemption is only a wake-up away.