Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL — 14 innings
Pittsburgh 3
Cincinnati 4

W: A. Simon (3-2)
L: R. VandenHurk (0-1)

–I’m gonna complain about bunts below, but that was just about as much fun as I’ve had watching a Reds game this year.

–Ryan Ludwick singled in the bottom of the 14th, scoring Mesoraco, and giving the Reds a walkoff victory. Ludwick had been 0-5 before that AB.

–No Red had two hits, but Dioner Navarro had a two-run double, and Chris Heisey homered.

–Mat Latos wasn’t sharp, but he did chalk up a quality start.

–Jose Arredondo pitched a scoreless, hitless inning. After Aroldis Chapman’s rough outing (see below), Sam LeCure came on and got the Reds out of trouble, then proceeded to pitch an effective 11th inning, as well (struck out all three batters looking).

–JJ Hoover was flat-out dominant tonight in his two innings of work. Jonathan Broxton was also effective.


In the bottom of the tenth, Ryan Hanigan led off with a single. Drew Stubbs came on to pinch-run for Hanigan. With Brandon Phillips at the plate, Dusty Baker decided to give the Pirates a free out. Yes, with one of the Reds better hitters batting, with one of the best and fastest baserunners on the planet at first base, Dusty gave the Pirates an out.

And that stupid out came back to haunt the Pirates, as they walked the bases loaded, but Cincinnati failed to score. Perhaps they would have scored if they had an additional out. (Oh yeah, Dusty bunted in the 11th, too. And they ended up needing that out, too.)

Then, in the bottom of the fourteenth, with two runners on and no outs, Dusty called on Heisey to bunt. Even if he were successful, it just meant that the Pirates could walk Joey Votto. How does that make sense?


–Aroldis Chapman walked the bases loaded, and his fastball was mostly 93-95. I see no reason whatsoever that Chapman should enter a game for the next week or so.

–In the bottom of the ninth, with a tie game, runner on base, one out…the Reds brought Didi Gregorius and Denis Phipps to the plate. I mean, I like those guys, but that didn’t inspire confidence in Cincinnati’s chances of winning in regulation.

–This recap may ramble a bit. I started writing it in the eighth inning.

–The Reds kept blowing opportunity after opportunity, but in the end, the good guys came through. The Pirates are now 12 games out of first place. As I type this, the Cardinals are losing 8-3 in the seventh. Cincinnati’s lead could be 9.5 after tonight, and the magic number could be 12. Wow.

–Those great performances by LeCure and Hoover were particularly important tonight.

–That was Cincinnati’s longest game of the year, both in terms of innings and time: five hours, twenty-two minutes.

–Top of the 14th, somehow Alfredo Simon got into, and got out of, a bases loaded, no outs jam. A crazy night just kept getting crazier (see below).

–On Aroldis:

–I’m worried about my mental health this evening:

–If Thom doesn’t stop talking about bunting, I’m going to take a hostage.

–In the top of the 13th, everyone at GAB got punch drunk or something. It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. Everyone started doing that Ric Flair yell (Wooooo!), and it sounded bizarre on television. Plus, Kenny Powers’s brother was there. I love this guy:

Chris grabbed another photo of him:

When everyone started getting nuts at the park, the game got a lot more fun at home too. I really had a blast tonight, despite some poor play by both teams.


–Magic Number: