Message Sent?

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Depends on who was doing the sending and who was doing the receiving, but the Cincinnati Reds sent a small message last evening. They can beat the St. Louis Cardinals in a comeback fashion to beat all. It’s been a rarity for such over the last season and a quarter.

Oh, they’ve had their chances. The Reds had chances on their first visit to Busch Stadium, first game of the season series. The ol’ RISP and LOB did ’em in on that one. Last night was looking like a similar situation, too (RISP: 4-for-18, LOB: 13). And on Friday the 13th, the Reds were coming back like Jason Voorhuis in all those wretched sequels.

Except, we like the Reds version…and outcome. A 6-5, 10-inning victory

For most of 2010, the Cards would seemingly get ahead in a game and the Reds would do very little to let the Cards know they were even in the same ballpark. It was as if some type of mental cloud formed in the minds of the Reds players. Some type of TLR Jedi mind trick or something.

Well, TLR is not in Cincinnati for this series. No mind tricks to play with the Reds or Dusty Baker. I’ll let that one go now…

It was 4-0 Cards before the Reds could dent the dish in the bottom of the 6th. We were again witnessing wasted opportunities. But there was a scary trend that was developing…the threat(s) that really did die.

Bottom 2: Brandon Phillips lead off the inning with a single. After a Jay Bruce pop out, Scott Rolen grounded out to second, but as BP was trying to go to 3rd, Albert Pujols fired across the diamond to net the DP.

Bottom 3: Fred Lewis started the inning with a single. Ryan Hanigan walked. Bronson Arroyo sacrificed them over. On a Drew Stubbs grounder, Lewis hesitated before heading home and was nailed.

Bottom 5: Rolen and Lewis singled. Hanigan lined out and Arroyo, once again, sacrificed the runners over. Drew Stubbs walked to load the bases. And here comes Edgar Renteria. The same Edgar Renteria that had stranded two runners in the 3rd. He did not disappoint…Cards fans, that is. Left ’em loaded as he struck out.

Three innings where the Reds had a runner at third base with less than two outs and could not score.

The bottom of the 7th saw more wasted chances. BP with a sacrifice bunt taking the bat out of Jay Bruce’s hands is a starting point.

We almost saw one in the 10th as well when Ramon Hernandez was caught in a rundown between 2nd and 3rd. Chris Heisey managed to get to second. That set the stage for Joey Votto and his walk-off single.

So what was the exact meassge sent? The Reds can come back to beat the Cards…even with numerous squandered opportunities, a couple of baserunning gaffes, and even a questionable choice to have the cleanup hitter lay down a sacrifice bunt.

Just like you draw it up, I guess…