Lets review today’s titanic struggle…

Final — 12 innings
Cincinnati – 12
San Francisco – 11
WP: Cordero (4-4)
LP: Zito (8-9)
Box Score

POSITIVES
-The current Sports Illustrated cover-boy Joey Votto had a phenomenal game.  Votto went 4-7 with 2 home runs and 4 RBI.  He got the Reds going early with a 2-run blast in the first inning, then followed that up with a solo home run in the 4th inning.  Both homers were to the opposite field.  But as an encore, Votto also drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning with a two-out single that scored Miguel Cairo.

Paul Janish was also huge in the win.  Janish went 3-5 with a double, an RBI, and a walk.  His single in the 9th inning tied the game at 11-11 and scored Drew Stubbs, who had reached on an error.

The Reds hit 3 homers in the first inning.  Aside from Votto’s blast, Jonny Gomes hit his 100th career home run.  Hanigan followed Gomes with a blast of his own.

Nick Masset and Francisco Cordero pitched great late.  Massett went 2 innings, allowing only 1 hit while striking out 4.  Cordero also went 2 innings, allowing 2 hits and striking out 1.  Both hits off Coco came in his 2nd inning of work and one of those was an infield single off of his glove.

NEGATIVES
Dusty Baker’s decision to send Logan Ondrusek out for a 2nd inning of work made absolutely no sense.  Ondrusek pitched a perfect 7th inning with the Reds up 10-5.  But Baker opted to send Ondrusek back out in the 8th, instead of using either Rhodes or Massett, who hadn’t pitched in this series (and with an off-day tomorrow).  Ondrusek proceeded to allow 3 runs without recording an out in the 8th.  By that point, the momentum had shifted and Rhodes couldn’t even stop the bleeding.  The Giants tacked on 3 more runs in the inning (6 total) and the Reds watched their 10-1 lead disappear into an 11-10 deficit.

Homer Bailey had his worst outing since returning to the Reds after his shoulder injury.  Bailey allowed 5 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks in 5.1 innings pitched.  Bailey has to take on some blame here, at least in my view.  After being spotted to a 10-1 lead, Bailey walked the lead-off man and allowed a follow up single in both the 4th and 5th innings.  Considering the Reds bullpen had been worked hard the previous two nights, the Reds needed Bailey to go out and log 6, if not 7, innings.  Instead, he was unable to make it through the 6th and it likely cost him the win.

Chris Heisey went 0-6 at the plate.  He came up empty in the 12th with runners at 2nd and 3rd and 1-out.  He was unable to score the runner from 3rd.  Luckily for the Reds, and Heisey, the MVP came through with a clutch 2 out base hit.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
The Reds just went 6-3 on a pivotal West Coast road trip.  A 5-4 or even 6-3 road trip was what many of us had hoped for when this thing kicked off over a week ago in Arizona.  Now that it is all over, we just need to reflect on how great a road trip that was.

I think Votto summed it up best in his post-game comments.  I am paraphrasing, but he said something to the effect that the “franchise” has struggled on these trips in the past.  This, however, is a different “team” than those that have bombed on these trips out West before. Those are words from an MVP if you ask me!

-Brandon Phillips was hit on the hand during an at-bat and was forced to leave the game.  I have not heard a report on his status as of yet. The Reds need a healthy Phillips if we plan on completing this run.

-As I mentioned above, Gomes hit his 100th career homerun.  Congrats to the big sombrero.  Perhaps now the media can stop talking about it.

-As I type this, the Cardinals are losing to the Pirates 4-1 after 7 innings.

-The Reds magic number is now 35 and the Reds are currently 3 games up in the division. (UPDATE: The Pirates beat the Cards (2 out of 3!), and the Reds are now 3.5 games up. Magic Number: 34.)

-The Reds get a much needed and deserved day off on Thursday before beginning a home series against the Cubs.  I can’t wait for Saturday night’s RN get together!

-This is fun!

Joey Votto