We need not burden ourselves with too many specifics from today’s epic clash between the Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves. The Braves scored 7 times, the Reds scored 6, and a packed house in Great American Ball Park played witness to a pair of teams who just seem poised to do this a lot more often before the final pitch of the 2023 postseason.
The Reds saw their 12 game win streak end, and what a win streak it was. Worry not, however, as nothing we saw today was any different than what propelled them to that dozen games of glory - they battled back, they battled late, they battled to the bitter end, with Jake Fraley and Will Benson coming off the bench mid-game and both swatting 9th inning dingers off former Red Raisel Iglesias to bring the heart palpitations to an epic beat. That followed earlier homers by Matt McLain and Spencer Steer that helped the club turn an early 3-0 deficit into a game that wasn’t just worth watching, but had us all almost expecting them to complete the comeback altogether.
This is who they are. Sadly, the starting pitching - Graham Ashcraft was shelled again on a day when Ben Lively also landed on the injured list - is also who it is, an underfunded, inexperienced group that’s been tasked with too much already and is now running into an injury bug that seems unsustainable. The ship is leaking there, and it needs help in the worst of ways, in ways that the bats simply cannot rescue at all times.
The players, the manager have done their part in A+ fashion so far this year. It’s now time to test the front office and see if they, too, have studied hard and practiced their pitch.
The Reds and Braves will do this again tomorrow, and it’ll be another epic one regardless of how bruised and bandaged the Reds pitching staff is on the day.
The win streak is dead. Long live the win streak!