After waving silent bats for 8 innings, the Reds struck for two runs in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game. Then Devin Mesoraco, batting for the first time tonight, blasted a 99-mph fastball to left center for a walk-off homer. In play run(s). ‘Twas an exciting start for the home stand.

Before the late heroics, it looked like the Reds would be foiled by home plate umpire Mike Winters, who seemed determined to show how much he could disadvantage hitters with his strike zone tonight. For example, here’s a Zack Cozart AB where pitches #1, #4 and #6 were *called* strikes by Winters.

Winters turned Mike Foltynewicz, a pitcher with a below average strikeout rate, into Nolan Ryan. The Reds batters fought back by swinging early in the count. The results, predictably, were ugly. Until the 9th.

Cincinnati Reds 3 • Atlanta Braves 2 || MLB || FG || Statcast

Six innings and two earned runs is as good as the Reds are going to get from Bronson Arroyo and that’s what the 40-year-old pitcher produced tonight. Arroyo struck out 2 and walked one. He lowered his ERA to 6.24; only three MLB starters have a higher ERA. Bert Blyleven holds the all-time record for giving up home runs in a season at 50. Arroyo is on pace to give up 60. Long live the rebuild.

The Reds bullpen – Wandy Peralta, Blake Wood, Drew Storen and Raisel Iglesias – shut out the Braves over the final four innings.

There weren’t many positives for the home team tonight until the the 9th. They had managed three hits – singles by Zack Cozart, Tucker Barnhart and Arroyo – and three walks. Then Adam Duvall and Eugenio Suarez led off the 9th with back-to-back doubles producing the first run. Scott Schebler and Jose Peraza made outs, but Suarez advanced to third base. Braves closer Jim Johnson then bounced a ball past the catcher (which somehow Mike Winters didn’t call a strike) allowing Suarez to score the tying run. Extra innings!

Devin Mesoraco, Destroyer of Worlds and Labra, led off the 10th with his towering home run. Mesoraco can handle the fastball.

Defensive play: In the top of the 4th, Joey Votto turned in an alert defensive play throwing Matt Kemp out at home in the top of the 4th. Peraza had ranged deep over 2B keeping the ball in the infield.

Brandon Phillips returned to Great American Ball Park. C Trent Rosecrans is all over the details. Phillips blocked the Reds from a pre-game celebration of his return and said the Reds giving out his #4 (to Scooter Gennett) was an insult. The Reds have given out Jay Bruce’s number and Johnny Cueto’s number and Todd Frazier’s number to other players. The Reds gave Joe Morgan’s number to Rafael Landestoy.

Phillips should be more worried about the #5; he went 0-for-5 tonight.

Special related note for Chad: The Reds haven’t given out #22 since Eric Milton wore it in 2007. [Note: Billy Hatcher wears #22.]

Media note: Jim Day filled the play-by-play chair on the radio broadcast tonight and did a great job. Clear, informative, prepared, easy teamwork with Jeff Brantley. Day mentioned on-base percentage in the first inning which is more than the regular broadcaster has all season. Goes without saying that we all have different preferences for our broadcasters. I really liked the job Day did tonight.

22 Responses

  1. Geoff

    Huge win!!!!! Love how this team fights!!

  2. David

    So it was night and Day with Jim?

    Pretty unbelievable ending to sort of a weird game.

  3. james garrett

    Great way to tie up the game and even better to win on the walk off.We got handed a chance on the wild pitch and good teams do what the Reds did tonight.

  4. tralfaz

    He was really good tonight. When Marty retires I would really prefer him to either Jim Kelch or Dan Hoard.

  5. tralfaz

    He got an ovation which was nice, but he acts like he should be treated like Babe Ruth returning to Yankee Stadium.

  6. Chuck Schick

    There are lots of things to question and dislike, but the Reds are on pace to win 77 games.

    Through 53 games last year they were on pace to win 54.

  7. Scotly50

    Nice comeback for the Reds. The Umpire kept us off balance most of the night. I am glad our hitters did not succumb to his off-the-wall strike zone and start swinging at the garbage off the plate he was calling strikes.

  8. Playtowin

    Jim Day is good. He and the “cowboy” work well together.

  9. bouwills

    The events of last night only reinforce the fact that Williams properly handled the “dat dude” issue earlier this year. I wish BP all the best (somewhere else).

  10. Andy

    Just noticed on replay that Braves pitcher was in the base path and Mesoraco had to dodge him on his way home. Irritating.

  11. [email protected]

    BP, let it go. Reds-as I’ve stated many times, just get good, doesn’t have to be great, SP and this team can compete with anyone. I’d still go out and get a bona fide starter. Sonny Gray anyone? Heck, we’re only three games out of first. Wish I could count on Bailey, Disco and Finnegan going forward but….

    • Chuck Schick

      How would they obtain Sonny Gray without making themselves worse in other areas? The A’s aren’t going to just give him away.

      • I-71_Exile

        They’d have to empty the upper minors ala the Latos trade. The As do love to stockpile prospects.I still wouldn’t do it. Let’s see if any of out MLB pitchers return and make an impact first.

      • I-71_Exile

        Chris Archer is going to cost a fortune with his team-friendly contract and years of control left. The ask would likely start with Senzel and go from there. The Cubs would be in on him as well with their pitching woes. Gray and Archer are high stakes gets.

        You are right that the Reds have great depth right now in the minors and about to add more. I’m worried about how they are going to manage all of the talent on their 40-man so a blockbuster might go a long way to clearing up some spots so they don’t have to expose guys that they’d rather keep.

      • I-71_Exile

        I completely agree on Winker but still think the Reds would be selling low on him. He needs to keep doing what he’s been doing lately at Louisville to show that he has the power to be a corner outfielder.

      • I-71_Exile

        I see Winker as a Hal Morris-type at best which is pretty good but not awe-inspiring. Agree as well on an off-season deal.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Fascinating discussion. I say it’s still a year of sorting … unless you get to the end of July and the starting eight and the bullpen are still performing as they are currently, and two of the three of Bailey, DeSclafani and Finnegan are back pitching effectively. If the Reds are within striking distance … and I mean very close to the division lead, not hanging on at the back of the wild card pack … then you give serious thought to a trade like this.

      I think it was Theo Epstein who said you only get so many chances at winning a title, and you have to go for it when you have a legit chance. (I’m paraphrasing.) If at the end of July, you have all of the above, you’ve fairly well identified your starting eight for the next few seasons and your bullpen (Iglesias, Lorenzen, Peralta and Brice in the key roles). Adding a Sonny Gray with two years control may very well be a necessary move for a team whose rebuild in many ways appears to be ahead of schedule.

      If the small sample size of the first two months projects through late July, then you will have learned that you have an all-star caliber third baseman, tremendous power and above-average defense at the corner outfield positions and excellent defense up the middle. And, in this scenario, Cozart stays.

      I hope we have to sort through this in late July — but I can’t imagine the starting pitching currently in place will allow that to happen.

      • I-71_Exile

        I don’t know the real reasons why the Reds did what they did with Stephenson and Reed, but I’m not blaming them entirely. A lot of the non-production rests on the shoulders of the players. They had their chances and spit the bit IMO.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        I agree. At some point, a player has to show he has more to offer than the “top prospect” label.

      • I-71_Exile

        That trade would have obviously been a disaster. I think Votto has great talent, but what sets him apart is his single-mindedness. He seems SO driven and focused on the intricacies of the game that he’s some some of baseball savant. I don’t know that anyone looking at his numbers in the minors alone could have seen where he’d end up. The Reds definitely dodged a bullet by keeping him—but they knew his mental make-up far better than we did.

        Whenever I slip up and read a Daugherty column, I read it in George Constanza “opposite” mode. He is the master of the uniformed hot take.

        I wouldn’t trade Senzel either but Winker has to show more power or MLB pitchers will simply pound the zone and live with his singles because he can’t hurt them otherwise. His walks/OBP will drop. He already has more pop than Peraza or Hamilton—who does’t—but he needs more. I think it’s in there and was hampered significantly by his wrist injury. If Winker could become a Choo, the Reds would really have something. What a fantastic hitter.

  12. Timmy RedLeg

    IF the Redlegs can stay close until Bailey, Brandon F., & Disco return, then it could be a fun 2nd half. They have the offense to compete.