In their hit song “Sit down”, Manchester rock band James claimed, “If I hadn’t seen such riches I could live with being poor.”
The Reds played so well over the first few games, maybe better than any team I have ever followed in any sport.
And, you had the swagger, the confidence, the arrogance.
Then, it sort of just shrivelled up in the Arizona desert. I was deflated.
Game 7: Reds 6-5 D-backs
Jesse Winker drove in Tucker Barnhart in the third inning to open the scoring, and then Tyler Naquin hit his fourth home run in three games to double the lead.
Alex Blandino, Winker and Naquin all scored as the Reds piled on the pressure. 5-0 up … baseball is easy.
Baseball is also unpredictable. Maybe the next play was the most pivotal of the series.
Having struck out swinging in his first two at-bats, D-backs second baseman Eduardo Escobar blasted a double to deep right field. He moved up on a Josh Rojas groundout and then crossed home plate thanks to a Carson Kelly‘s sac-fly. We shouldn’t have woken Escobar.
Kole Calhoun drove in two with a double and then Escobar hit a two-run homer to tie the score 5-5.
Extra-innings. D-backs had the momentum, but Reds were invincible, surely?
It was now 6:00am in the UK. I was awake (after nowhere near enough sleep) and struggling to focus on my phone screen.
I like the runner starting on second – you feel that the game will be over in an inning or two. I don’t want the worry that it might still be continuing in 90 minutes.
Barnhart drove in Eugenio Suarez to give Reds the lead. The ball was given to Amir Garrett. This was his moment.
Asdrubal Cabrera: Pop fly … one down
Escobar: Caught on the warning track. That was close. Two down.
Rojas: Walk … you’re kidding me. He’s hitting .074. The kid has had two hits all year.
Kelly: Wild pitch(passed ball) – I don’t know which, but Christian Walker (who had started on second) went to third and Rojas was now on second. Gulp.
Kelly is intentionally walked, so that Garrett can face former first-rounder and guy with a massive chip on his shoulder as he battles to force his way into the D-backs lineup, Pavin Smith.
Smith: Groundout. Easy. ATOBTTR
AG looked too hyped up for my liking. He got the job done, but I’m not sure that level of uncontrolled intensity is sustainable.
Man of the match: Amir Garrett – my heart was in my mouth.
Game 8: Reds 3-8 D-backs
Reds lost. What a strange sensation. It started in the usual fashion. Mike Moustakas scores, Suarez scores.
Jeff Hoffman was pitching a gem until Cabrera took him deep in the fourth.
Cionel Perez inherited two base runners in the bottom of the fifth and the Reds’ wheels came off. Four hits, five runs, one error and D-backs were 6-2 up.
Walker increased the lead off Carson Fulmer before Escobar (him, again) homered off Sal Romano. Suarez pulled one back but it was too little, too late.
Man of the match: Geno Suarez (2-for-3 with a walk and home run)
Game 9: Reds 0-7 D-backs
The day the Reds bats went quiet. Unfortunately, this was a 9pm start, so I could watch it live. I tell you what, that Eduardo Escobar is a decent player.
Jose De Leon racked nine strikeouts, including 17 swinging strikes – elite numbers. Eight hits, three walks and six earned runs is not so elite.
D-backs’ starter, Luke Weaver, was sensational. Especially considering how poor he looked in spring training. He carried a no-no into the seventh inning.
Man of the match: Jonathan India (he didn’t play, so he didn’t play poorly)
Photos by Christian Petersen, Norm Hall
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