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If you're going to Juan Francisco, be sure to put some baseballs in the air. Reds win, 3-2.

Even though, from a rationality standpoint, it's not awe-inspiring, it's still good bitching.  (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Even though, from a rationality standpoint, it's not awe-inspiring, it's still good bitching. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Juan Francisco.  El Nino Destructor disdains walks, so his value comes entirely from his batting average.  Well, he raised that about 90 points today with four hits, including the game winning single in extra innings.  Yes, he made an out at the plate, but remember we never said his value comes from baserunning.  It's also worth noting that on a day when Joey Votto struck out three times, Francisco didn't K at all.  Honorable mentions go to Brandon Phillips (reached base three times in the leadoff spot and scored a run) and Bronson Arroyo (shrugged off a rough last outing to pitch 8 innings of two run ball.  He scattered two ten hits, but struck out five and walked none to minimize the damage).

Key Plays

  • The Reds learned long ago how tough it can be to win with a guy named Edwin on your roster.  So, good luck with that, Cardinals.  Edwin Jackson faced off against the Reds for the first time ever, and they pounced on him immediately.  Brandon Phillips led off with a single (I am LOVING the Phillips as leadoff experiment), and then Edgar Renteria hit a fly ball that bounced off the top of the wall and back on to the field.  Matt Holliday tried to act like it was still in play, but the umpire twirled his finger and signaled home run.  He knows that Edgar's heating up!  Reds lead, 2-0.
  • If the Cardinals had a competent leadoff hitter, they might have won this game.  But they don't, they have Rafael Furcal.  He flew out to accomplished left fielder Yonder Alonso right before Jon Jay tagged a home run.  I keep waiting for Jay to come back to earth, but he just keeps on playing well.  Bah!  Reds lead, 2-1.
  • Edgar Renteria struck out with the bases loaded and two outs in the second.  Heat dissipates quickly, alright?
  • Juan Francisco hit a two bagger in the fourth.  The headline made a Juan Francisco/San Francisco pun, but in San Fran, a two bagger is a different thing all together.  Francisco later got thrown out at home.  He should have headed for fifth.
  • Gerald Laird hit a one single in the bottom of the fourth, and then Daniel Descalso drove a ball into the right field corner.  Flying like the Silver Surfer, the Gerald of Galactus came around the bases to score while Descalso ended up on third with a triple.  Game tied, 2-2.
  • And that was it on runs for awhile.  Finally, the game went into extra innings, and the Reds faced Fernando Salas.  With two outs, Yonder Alonso singled.  He was replaced on the basepaths by Chris ValaikaDrew Stubbs then walked, and Juan Francisco singled.  Valaika scored, and that was that.  Reds win, 3-2.
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Other Notes

  • This was the first series the Reds have won in St. Louis since June 2006.
  • Dusty had this to say about Francisco: "He puts the ball in play when he swings at strikes. He has an electric bat. You'll be hearing a lot from him."  Ye've been fairly warned.
  • Arroyo got hit in the leg with a comeback line drive in the second inning.  Gold Glover that he is, he recovered and threw out Rafael Furcal, then stayed in to pitch six more innings.  Lance Berkman offered some grudging praise and backhanded respect.  "He's survived a long time.  He's pitched a lot of innings, he's won a lot of games. So he obviously is not chopped liver. Even though, from a velocity standpoint, it's not awe-inspiring, it's still good pitching."  Every single one of the Cardinals are dicks.
  • The other Francisco, Cordero, notched his 30th save of the season.

  • Final - 9.4.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
    Cincinnati Reds 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 12 1
    St. Louis Cardinals 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 11 0
    WP: Bill Bray (5 - 2)
    SV: Francisco Cordero (30)
    LP: Fernando Salas (5 - 6)

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