Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….rntitanic-copy

FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Cincinnati 4

W: J.J. Hoover (4-5)
L: Brian Wilson (1-1)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES

— The Reds victory gives them a sparkling and hard-earned 5-1 record on the home stand against two quality teams. They are 19 games over .500 (81-62) for the first time all season and have won 11 of their last 15 games against teams with a winning record.

— The Reds started the day a total of 3.5 games behind the Cardinals and Pirates. After today, they’ll be 2.5 games (total) out of first. They’ll gain a game in the standings against one of those two teams.

Mat Latos pitched seven solid innings against the top lineup in the NL. He gave up nothing after the second inning.

— The Reds’ bullpen was outstanding again, adding three shutout innings. Zack Duke and Alfredo Simon shared the eighth, Sam LeCure put the Dodgers down in order in the ninth, including striking out Yasiel Puig and J.J. Hoover pitched the tenth, earning the win.

Joey Votto continued to break out of his slump with two hits, a walk and two intentional walks (another offensive category where he leads the National League). He’s reached base in all nine of his at bats this series.

Cesar Izturis, who was substituting for a dinged-up Brandon Phillips, had three hits, including a crucial, game-tying double down the left field line in the seventh inning. He’d had all of one hit the entire month of August.

Shin-Soo Choo had two hits and scored the tying run in the seventh. Jay Bruce had an RBI single in the first inning.

Ryan Ludwick drew a walk to start off the Reds’ tenth inning. His personal pinch runner, Billy Hamilton, came in and stole second, where he was driven in by SuperTodd Frazier’s ground ball single through the right side of the infield.

NEGATIVES

— None.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS

— In front of a sold-out Great American Ball Park, the Great 8, and a national television audience, the Reds won a thrilling extra-inning game against the media-darling Los Angeles Dodgers. The Reds lost heartbreaking one-run games to the Dodgers in LA in July and it’s great to return the favor. The Reds have won this series against the Dodgers and go for the sweep behind Homer Bailey tomorrow night, again on national television. Be proud of your Reds, Nation.

Zack Cozart did what he’s done all year in the field. He made an error and he made several outstanding plays, including a diving catch of a line drive up the middle in the tenth inning off of Andre Ethier.

— Has Billy Hamilton earned a postseason roster spot, even though he hasn’t had a single at bat? Conventional wisdom had been that the Reds would add Derrick Robinson (Dusty Baker has said so) when they trim their pitching staff from 12 to 11 for the postseason. Hamilton’s pinch-running role seems to rattle the opposing team and inspire Reds hitters.

— Another failed attempt to sacrifice an out with a bunt in the tenth leads instead to a run-scoring hit. Stop trying to give away outs, please.

— Go Blue, beat Notre Dame! (just had to)

TOP GAME THREAD COMMENTS

Kyle: Devin is struggling badly. 3 k’s today, 0 his last 12, 2 for his last 25, one extra base hit since August 3rd (71 ABs) when he had the 2HR game vs. STL.

Eric the Red: Remember the other day when Adams beat us, and he was only in the game because Craig got hurt? How would you like to feel that way, except it’s Izturis killing you instead of Adams? Yeah, I don’t feel bad for those Dodger fans, either.

ToddAlmighty: LeNasty

pinson343: According to plan ! Why on earth would Dusty have Frazier bunt in that situation ? Maybe Frazier was smart enough to miss his bunt on purpose in that situation.

Johnu1: We would have settled for 2 of 3 as we would have been ecstatic over a 3 of 4 against the Birds. Now we’re wanting a sweep and are upset we didn’t get one against St. Lou. Now that’s what I call a pennant race.