Reds shed weight of world with walk-off win
Schumaker's pinch double ends club's longest losing streak since 1998
CINCINNATI -- It had been nearly two weeks since the Reds' clubhouse was filled with smiles, music and the spinning colors from the dance light that has become a custom following a win. With a pinch-hit double in the bottom of the ninth inning, Skip Schumaker proved to be the guy who brought it all back plus something else -- sweet relief.
Schumaker's walk-off hit past third baseman Nolan Arenado and just inside the left-field line scored Marlon Byrd and gave the Reds a 2-1 victory over the Rockies. It snapped a season-high nine-game losing streak, the club's longest since dropping 11 in a row in 1998.
"I hit it to the wrong guy, that's for sure," Schumaker said. "Of all the guys to hit it to, I thought he was going to catch it somehow. But we needed a win. That goes without saying -- in the worst way. I don't care how it happened, we just needed to smile for once around here and break the cycle. It was a nice way to end it."
Schumaker was batting with one out and Byrd on second. When his liner landed fair, Byrd scored without a play before everyone made a run for Schumaker by second base to begin the celebrating.
"Right when it hit, I knew I was close enough to where the left fielder couldn't come up and make some miraculous play," Byrd said. "I was feeling relief to get the 'W.'"
The Reds seemed to feel the weight of the world disappear from their shoulders in that moment.
"The smiles coming at me, it's happened to me a few times in my career and it doesn't get old," Schumaker said.
Now 19-26, Cincinnati's last win came on May 14 over the Giants. During the nine straight losses, the team batted .117 with runners in scoring position.
"We needed a win and had to figure out how to get one," Byrd said. "Tonight, we hung in there long enough and Skip pulled us out."
Meanwhile, the rotation was 0-7 with an 8.27 ERA during the streak. Starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen, who provided seven strong innings with one run and two hits allowed for a no-decision, liked how the team picked itself up.
"Get used to winning. I mean, we didn't get used to losing and we did everything that we could," Lorenzen said. "We scratched and clawed to win this game today, and we showed a lot of fight. Now it's time to get used to winning, because we are going to be seeing a lot of that."