That's how we do it in Cincinnati. Reds win, 6-5.

Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Joey Votto.  The reigning MVP was 2-5 with a double, walk, and a pretty important hit at the end.  Bonus points for using the word "bugaboo" in his post game interview with Jeff Piecoro.  I'm pretty sure that if Mr. Votto asked me to have his children, I wouldn't refuse him.  Honorable mentions to Scott Rolen (3-5 in his first game back), Brandon Phillips (2-4 and had the hit that made Votto's heroics possible) and Nick Masset (2 scoreless IP, 4 K).

Key Plays

  • Colby Rasmus and Albert Pujols started the 4th with singles off of Reds starter Bronson Arroyo.  A Matt Holliday double and Lance Berkman sacrifice fly plated both runners.  One out later, Daniel Descalso doubled in Holliday.  3-0 Cardinals.  You would've been excused, at this point, for assuming the worst about this game.
  • The Reds loaded the bases in the 5th from singles by Scott Rolen and Fred Lewis and a walk by Drew Stubbs.  Edgar Renteria left them loaded by striking out, simultaneously shutting down Twitter and the Nikkei stock index.
  • In the 6th, potential Bill Hall All Star Daniel Descalso singled in Holliday with 2 outs to put the Cardinals up 4-0.  A mix of despair, apathy, and resigned acceptance ensued.
  • The Reds offense finally got that "clutch" hit in the bottom of the 6th.  Votto led off with a double, Brandon Phillips advanced him to 3rd with a groundout, and Jay Bruce brought him in with an infield hit.  Scott Rolen then doubled, bringing in Bruce.  Welcome back, Scotty.  4-2, Cardinals.
  • The top of the 7th sucked.  Nick Punto led off with a walk off of Bill Bray. One out later Dusty Baker instituted a questionable double switch, bringing in Mike Leake and replacing Fred Lewis with Chris Heisey in left.  Keep in mind the Cardinals only have 1 lefty in their bullpen.  Leake promptly gave up singles to Pujols and Holliday, allowing a run to score.  5-2 Cardinals.  
  • In the bottom of the inning, Heisey led off with a single, Drew Stubbs walked, and Renteria redeemed himself by doubling them both in.  5-4 Cardinals.
  • The next couple of innings featured some good relief pitching on both sides, most notably by Nick Masset.  Anyone still want to send him to AAA?
  • The Reds were down to their last three outs in the 9th when Renteria continued his redemption tour by leading off with a walk.  He advanced to second on a wild pitch and third on a groundout.  Brandon Phillips brought him in with a single to center field.  #clutchmoveshawty  5-5 game.  We're going to extras!
  • Ramon Hernandez led off the bottom of the 10th with a double, but was caught in a rundown in the next at bat when Heisey grounded to 1st.  Clutch Man Monie showed he can run the bases in a clutch manner as well, almost eluding the tag and giving Heisey enough time to advance to second.  With 2 outs, Renteria completed his penance by walking, allowing Joey Votto to come to the plate and do what Joey do.  Votto singled to right, plating Heisey.  Reds win, 6-5.

20110513_cardinals_reds_0_20110513222605_live_medium

via www.fangraphs.com

Other Notes:

  • Even with the late heroics, the Reds were just 4-18 with RISP.  The team was 13-38 with 7 walks.  This easily could've been a blowout.
  • In Mike Leake's last 9 appearances he has thrown 36.1 IP and has a 5.70 ERA.  Meanwhile, Jose Arredondo is floating somewhere in purgatory.
  • The Cardinals 3 best relievers, Eduardo Sanchez, Fernando Salas, and Jason Motte, each threw over 20 pitches.  Any or all of them may not be available tomorrow.
  • Nick Masset currently has an 8.1 inning scoreless streak.
  • With a win tomorrow the Reds would reclaim first place.
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