|Ã‚Â Pittsburgh PiratesÃ‚Â (88-73)||6||8||1|
|Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Cincinnati RedsÃ‚Â (75-86)||10||9||0Ã‚Â|
|W:Ã‚Â Axelrod (2-1) Ã‚Â Ã‚Â L: Axford (0-1)|
|Ã‚Â FanGraphs Win ProbabilityÃ‚Â | Ã‚Â The Worldwide Leader’s Box ScoreÃ‚Â Ã‚Â | Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Game Photos|
A couple seconds after he called Ramon Santiago’s walk-off grand slam, an elatedÃ‚Â Jeff Brantley said, “This has been a long season. But it was some kinda fun today.”
I attended the game, along with Redleg Nation owner Chad Dotson, and writers Chris Wilson, Chris Garber and Nick Kirby. And indeed, it was some kinda fun.
To say that it was also a day ofÃ‚Â improbable things would be an understatement matched only by the exaggeration of the Reds’ announcement of 35,000-plus attendance.
The Pirates starting pitcher, 30-year-old Francisco Liriano, scored the first run of his major league career.
The Reds scored 10 runs for the first time since June 21.
The winning pitcher was Dylan Axelrod, who left his last appearance on September 9 one batter into the game with an oblique injury. It had been reported that the injury might be season-ending for the pitcher. Yet he appeared today.
A Reds bullpen pitcher won a game for the first time since July 11, snapping an 0-16 streak. To be fair to the bullpen, a lack of wins in late innings is primarily a problem with the offense.
Ramon Santiago hadn’t knocked in four runs in the last 23 games, yet he hit a grand slam today. It was his second home run of the season.
Aroldis Chapman threw seven pitches. That’s seven more than he managed in the final four games of 2013 against Pittsburgh, adding together the last three regular season games and the play-in Wild Card game. Who-hoo, allocation of resources.
Both the winning pitcher and losing pitcher’s last names began with the letters AX. I suspect it’s axiomatic to suggest that’s a first.
Johnny Cueto goes for his 20th win tomorrow in the Cincinnati Reds final game of the year. Today’s victory may have spoiled the chances for the Pirates to win the NL Central (so sad). But if they are still in it tomorrow, Cueto has the opportunity for a small amount of payback for last year’s play-in game. Tune in.