It was dark. I was running with a headtorch across the fields with only the moon and Marty Brennaman’s exquisite commentary for company.

J.T Realmuto had tied the game, forcing it into extra-innings. We were already 2-1 down in the series, and I cannot begin to think of how many one-run games the Reds have lost this season.

Suddenly running seemed harder; my legs heavier.

What seemed like an hour later, in the top of the 11th inning, Bryce Harper walked, stole second base and moved to third on a sacrifice-fly. Matt Bowman kept his nerve a struck out Scott Kingery for the third out.

Left fielder Phil Ervin wasted no time, sending the second pitch from Nick Vincent into the stands. The win helps mask recent disappointments, and also made the last couple of miles home a bit easier to tackle.

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In reality, the Phillies outplayed and outscored us (21-15) over the four game series. We have Eugenio Suarez enjoying a career-year. They Harper, Realmuto, Kingery, Rhys Hoskins and Jean Segura.

Phillies have a great lineup, but it’s still probably not good enough to reach the playoffs. This just emphasises how much the Reds need to improve to become contenders.

Apart from Ervin’s walk-off, the other highlight of the series was Michael Lorenzen taking the win and also hitting a home run. We don’t need to mention that he blew the save in the same game.

Jose Iglesias hit two homers over the series, increasing the likelihood of the Reds trying to bring him back. Double-digit home runs with a career-best slash line of .293/.321/.420 makes Iglesias a threat with the bat and the glove.

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Rookie sensation Aristides Aquino continued his record-breaking pace. He’s now up to 15 home runs in 35 games. He has to be careful not to become too predictable. He struck out six times with no walks in 17 plate appearances against the Phillies. Pitchers will exploit holes as the league gets to know him.

Cy Young contender Sonny Gray pitched another beauty, allowing one run over six innings while striking out seven.

Unfortunately, last season’s Cy Young contender, Trevor Bauer, had another forgettable outing. The 28-year-old gave up six hits and two walks over five innings. He was pulled after allowing four earned runs which took his ERA to 8.23 since the trade.

The next series is against the underrated Diamondbacks. I would love to see them sneak into a playoff spot despite trading Paul Goldschmidt and Zack Greinke.

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