No, no, no! #reds
— Jon Cross (@zeldink) October 7, 2012
That was what I tweeted after Johnny Cueto pitched to the second batter of the first inning and left the mound in pain. The game, the series, and the playoffs all felt like they’d ended right then and there. The Reds’s starting rotation without any injuries for the whole season would lose their ace in the first playoff game. It wasn’t fair, and the whole season flashed before my eyes.
Johnny Cueto bends over from the pain of his back spasms, while Dusty Baker bends over from the punch to the gut his team just took. But you know who didn’t panic? The 2012 Cincinnati Reds. The last club to make the playoffs–the 2010 squad–would have crumbled. But not this one.
Manager Dusty Baker–always one cool cat–kept calm and went to work, putting in one of the finest performances of his managerial career. He didn’t panic, inserting long-man Sam LeCure into the game to finish the first inning.
But that would only get the team so far. At ...