The Cincinnati Reds did it again on Sunday. They took the lead early in the game only to watch poor fielding contribute to losing that lead, then pull out a walk-off game winner in the bottom of the 9th inning against the poor Chicago Cubs, 5-4.
For the Cubs, it was there second loss by walk-off at the hands of the Reds during the 4-game series at GABP.
This time it was Ryan Hanigan who was the hero. Tied 4-4 going into the bottom of the 9th (this was after Aroldis Chapman pitched yet another scoreless top of the 9th), Xavier Paul (seriously, how good IS he this season) pounded a liner down the rightfield line and stretched it into a triple. Hanigan laced the next pitch to left-centerfield to plate the winning run – Cincinnati Reds won 4-3.
Mat Latos was, again, brilliant on the mound all day for the Reds. He went 8 innings, gave up 6 hits, 4 runs (only 2 were earned because of 3 errors by the defense) and struck out 6. He left the game tied at 4. Chapman got the win and improved his record to 5-4 and now has an ERA of 1.35. Latos continued to lower his ERA, now at 3.56.
It was a rare Cincinnati Reds win without a homerun. They played pretty good small ball yesterday. Hanigan, Jay Bruce and Zack Cozart each had 2 hits as the Reds pounded out 10 hits total. Latos even got in on the hit parade with an RBI single in the 4th. He now has a 3 game hitting streak going.
Seriously, though…how good has Xavier Paul been for the Cincinnati Reds. Since getting called up, and mostly in pinch hitting roles, all Paul has done is collect 13 hits, steal 3 bases, draw 6 base-on-balls, drive in 5 and score 5 himself. He has a batting average of .342 and an OBP of .432. Remarkable for a pinch hitter.
The Cincinnati Reds (74-48) will take to the road with a big week coming up. They will start out taking on the Philadelphia Phillies in Philadelphia and then come home to take on intradivisional rival, St. Louis Cardinals.