Going into the primetime match-up between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds, there was some big game tension I’m sure. It was the Reds chance to get within a couple of games again or the Cardinals chance to further distance themselves from the Reds. It was a close enough game that it went into extra innings. When it got there however, the Cards showed exactly why they have the best record in baseball with an exclamation point.
Winning in extra innings always feels good; there is no doubt about that. When it happens during game against one of a team’s division rivals, it feels even better. When both occur with an emphatic seven run outburst in the tenth inning that was capped off by a grand slam, everyone smiles a big smile. The Cardinals have the best record, sure, but they haven’t had the best offense all season. Yet on Sunday when the team needed to score runs to get a big win against the Reds, boy did they ever come through.
Matt Holliday nailed it shut with the second deck grand slam that might have drawn the call of the year from ESPN’s announcers. As soon as Holliday made contact both announcers just said, “Uh oh,” and calmly watched the bomb land in the second deck. It was the perfect call for the big fly to end the defeat of the Reds. The Reds aren’t going away mind you, they will stick around as will the Pittsburgh Pirates. What the Cardinals did on Sunday was make it clear that they aren’t going to roll over and give up first place for just anyone. Someone will have to fight them for it.