With a 3-2 win over the New York Mets the Reds have clinched a berth in the playoffs. For the first time since 1975-1976 the Reds will be going to the playoffs in back to back seasons.
Johnny Cueto looked sharp going 7 innings, striking out 5, and only giving up one earned run. A healthy Cueto will be a huge boost to the Reds if they play deep into the playoffs.
Shin Soo Choo led the offense going 3 for 6 with 2 RBI’s and 2 stolen bases. He drove in the game winning run with a walk-off hit in the bottom of the 10th inning. Billy Hamilton added another stolen base tonight to ad to his total of 13 on the season. A Major League season that started just three weeks ago for the speedster.
The Cardinals and Pirates have also clinched playoff spots along with the Reds. All three teams will continue to battle to determine who wins the division and who gets the wild card spots. It looks to be an interesting week ahead in the NL Central.
Last night the Reds lit up the Pirates for four unanswered runs in the 9th and 10th innings to complete their first come-from-behind victory, when trailing after 8 innings, since June 19th. With one out in the 9th inning, Ryan Ludwick got the rally started by hitting a single to right field. After Todd Frazier reached base on a Jordy Mercer error the wheels began to fall off for the Pirates. Billy Hamilton came in later in the inning to pinch run for Zach Cozart and promptly stole his 10th base in 10 attempts on the season. Hamilton has become a serious game changer for the Reds since arriving in early September. Devon Mesoraco then drove in two runs after battling through a tough at-bat to tie the game at 5 runs apiece.
After tying the game in the 9th, the Reds, Joey Votto, hit a solo home run into the left field seats in the 10th. Joey Votto and Dusty Baker both expressed surprise that the ball went out of the park. “I didn’t think it was going to be a home run or fair. I was stunned,” said Votto afterwards.
This was a huge come-from-behind win against a tough Pittsburgh team as both teams are battling for the playoffs. The win allowed the Reds to pull even with the Pirates in a tie for second place in the National League Central Division, two games behind the division leading Cardinals. At 88-66, both Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are tied for the first wild card spot as well. The Reds were 2-54 in games in which they trailed after 8 innings this season. The last such come-from-behind win was also against the Pirates on June 19th when they won 2-1.
The Reds can increase their momentum and take sole possession of second place with a win over the Pirates to night. Homer Bailey will take the mound for the Reds against A.J. Burnett for the Pirates at PNC Park.
The recent call up of speedster Billy Hamilton has the Reds outrunning their opponents lately. Hamilton has yet to step into the batters box or onto the field for defense yet he’s impacting games with his speed and base stealing ability. He has logged a theft in each of his first four pinch run opportunities.
With Hamilton’s help, the Reds took three of four games from the St. Louis Cardinals and the first two of three from the Dodgers. They will wrap up the three game series with L.A. tomorrow. It’s hard to remember a September call up that had such an immediate impact on the outcome of games.
The jury is still out on Hamilton’s ability to hit in the Big Leagues but no one can question his speed!