Was there a more satisfying win yet this season than this one?
And could there be a more stereotypical 2013 St. Louis Cardinals way to win than scoring 7 runs in the 10th inning and holding the Cincinnati Reds scoreless from the 5th inning on?
Mostly rhetorical questions, as the answers to both are likely no.
The Cardinals 11-4 win in 10 innings over the Reds — their first extra-inning win of the season — gave them a 4-game lead in the National League Central, continued their streak of winning series that stretches back to the end of April and was their 41st win of the season. Speaking of streaks, three of the four hitting streaks continued as well. (Sorry, Allen Craig.)
Yet much of the game was tight and tense, the proverbial playoff atmosphere-type game in June made all the more frustrating by the ESPN crew’s love of the Reds. Brandon Phillips is so amazing, you guys! And Bronson Arroyo — hey, look at this video from when he was a kid! Isn’t he just adorable? And Brandon Phillips — seriously, he is just awesome on Twitter! We’ll let him tell you himself how much! Isn’t the the best?
Ugh. And, for the second straight game, hello mute button.
It was not necessarily a stellar night for Lance Lynn, especially in the 1st inning. A double, walk, single and sac fly gave the Reds a 2-0 lead. Then, after the Cards tied it in the 4th, he gave up the final two runs in the 5th. He went 6 innings, allowed 5 hits, struck out 6 and walked 3.
Randy Choate took over in the top of the 7th and — well, he didn’t have a stellar night either. He gave up a lead-off walk, got a ground out and then a single to Joey Votto. Two on, one out, The Absolutely Wonderful and Amazing Brandon Phillips coming to the plate … since I didn’t have the sound on, I can’t imagine the giddy anticipation from the ESPN announcers.
Yet that giddiness would have thankfully been short-lived, since Seth Maness was the one entering the game. And of course he did what he is oh-so-good at doing: one pitch, two outs, threat and inning over. (And, in hearing Dan Shulman’s call — he obviously is not too familiar with what Maness does.)
Trevor Rosenthal handled his two innings extremely well, striking out the side in the 8th and retiring three straight with another strikeout in the 9th. His reward, so to speak, was his first major league win. Kevin Siegrist had an easy 1-2-3 bottom of the 10th, which includes the satisfying-for-Cards-fans retiring of Phillips for the game’s final out.
Now, the Cards offense. Eleven runs, obviously, on 14 hits with 2 homers and 3 hitting streaks.
Carlos Beltran: He put the Cards on the board with a 4th inning homer, had a single plus a sac fly to tie the game at 4 in the 7th. His homer extended hitting streak to 10 games.
Yadier Molina: Yadi tied the game at 2 in the 4th with an RBI double and had a single in the 6th. His NL-leading batting average is now .354.
Matt Carpenter: He extended his hitting streak to 18 games in the 7th with an RBI single, plus drove in two more in the 10th.
David Freese: Thankfully for him the game did go to extra innings, as it wasn’t until the 10th that he singled to extend his streak to 19 games.
Daniel Descalso: Dirty Dan only had one hit, but it was a big one — a 10th inning double that gave the Cards the lead.
Matt Holliday: He doubled in the 4th and scored the run that tied the game at 2. Then, of course, there was this little hit in the 10th — which so stunned the ESPN guys that the only words said were “uh-oh” and “wow” as the remaining crowd in Cincinnati made a mass exit. And, really, is there anything better than seeing a pissed-off Dusty Baker?
After the late-night comeback win, the Cardinals enjoy a day off in New York today and will take on the Mets for three games starting tomorrow night. Michael Wacha and Jon Niese are the starters.
And will the Cardinals third attempt to reach 20 games over .500 finally be successful? Will the three hitting streaks continue to grow? Here’s hoping!
Christine Coleman is the lead St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.