The Cincinnati Reds broke some spirits last night in Pittsburgh. Even against all odds, I never felt like the Reds were going to lose. It’s a gut feeling and an instinct you get from watching this team and this game for a long time. They entered the ninth trailing by three, yet I never felt they were beaten.
The Reds in 2013 have had a shortage of these type of wins. These are the types of wins that were the Hallmark of many Reds teams in the past, with a large number of them coming at Great American Ballpark.
With two down in the ninth and Mark Melancon on the bump trying to close out the Reds and catapult the Pittsburgh Pirates a couple games ahead of the Reds in the Wildcard race, things were looking grim for the Reds. Then they began to scratch, claw, and fight for their lives. No at bat was more signifying of their willingness to battle then Devin Mesoraco’s plate appearance of his life. He fouled off one Melancon cutter and curveball after another and finally got something he could handle. The ground ball went off the glove of the diving Pedro Alvarez and past the shortstop, allowing two runs to score (Billy Hamilton scampered in to tie the game after stealing second base). Under the gun, the Reds found a way to overcome all odds.
An inning later, Joey Votto homered just into the pocket of the left field stands. The Reds weren’t going to let this one get away. Aroldis Chapman blew a few hitters away in the bottom of the tenth inning, and the Reds had their biggest regular season win in several years – at least that I can remember. All possibilities are still on the table now for the Reds. They can still win the division. They can still host the one-game Wildcard playoff. They aren’t getting caught by the Nationals. In a way, the Reds saved their season.