Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….
FINAL — 10 innings
W: B. Bray (2-1)
L: M. Estrada (2-6)
–Jay Bruce had a brilliant night, reaching base three times: 3-4 with two walks and the 10th-inning homer that gave the Reds the lead. The only time he was retired was the second time he batted in that tenth inning; it was a hard-hit ball to center field. He appears to be seeing the ball much better.
Oh, and he made a great late-game catch, turn, throw that may have saved the game.
–The Reds scored five runs in the top of the tenth, giving the club a little cushion…and giving fans a chance to breathe a little easier than they normally would during an extra innings affair.
–Joey Votto went 3-5 with an RBI and a walk. Ramon Hernandez was 2-5 with a long homer to deep center field, 3 RBI and 2 runs scored. Zack Cozart continues to impress, playing solid defense and going 2-5 at the plate.NEGATIVES
–The Reds needed every one of those four runs they scored in the top of the tenth, because CoCo stunk up the joint for the second straight night.
–Drew Stubbs was 0-6 with three strikeouts. Ugly.
–Two Reds pitchers — Johnny Cueto and Bill Bray — threw the ball away on pickoff throws to first.
–Let’s not pretend that the Reds have played well during the first half of the season. However, we should also consider ourselves fortunate that the Reds are in a terribly weak division.
What that means is that, despite being one game under .500 and sitting in fourth place, your Redlegs are only three games out of first. I love baseball.
–Johnny Cueto was not sharp tonight, but he battled into the seventh. His final line: 6.1 IP, three runs allowed on six hits and four walks.
–Ramon Hernandez has been just great this year — .318/.374/.540 — and he probably deserves to be an All-Star. He likely deserves it more than Bruce, and he definitely deserves it more than Scott Rolen. (If you hadn’t heard, it appears that Rolen will be named to the All-Star team; he is next in line on the players ballot if Chipper Jones and Placido Polanco can’t play because of injury.)
–With a win tomorrow, the Reds will be back to .500. That would be a nice place to be — given how the first half has played out — as the Reds reach the All-Star break.