PITTSBURGH -- So, Clint Hurdle, what did you think of Thursday night's game in Cincinnati? Just another of 162, right?
Twenty-hours later, on Friday afternoon, the Pirates manager's eye still sparkled when the subject of the 5-4, 10-inning victory over the Reds came up.
"That gassed me up," Hurdle said, enthusiastically. "That's why you coach. The way so many guys handled situations. A total team effort. On the road, against a good ballclub. I was proud of our guys."
What did Hurdle love about a hard-fought game which moved the second-place Bucs within two games of the Reds' National League Central lead? Let him count the ways:
"I love the way the team picked up Joel [Hanrahan, who blew the save when giving up a first-pitch homer to Ryan Ludwick in the bottom of the ninth]. Boom! The air is taken out, and the team battled back to pick him up for a change."
"Then two guys answer [Aroldis] Chapman's call [Clint Barmes and Michael McKenry, back-to-back doubles in the 10th off the previously-untouched Cuban Missile]."
"[Jared] Hughes answering the challenge he was given [entering in the sixth with men on first and third and none out, and getting out of it without scoring]."
"[Jose] Tabata's throw in the first [to gun down Joey Votto at the plate] and baserunning later [taking two bases on Barmes' sacrifice bunt to get into position to score on a sacrifice fly]."
"Chris Resop [saving the game after allowing a leadoff double to Votto in the 10th] ... might've been the best game he's pitched for us all year."
A fuse-lighting game?
"I've seen [games like that] spark something. I've also seen where the next night it's, 'How come we can't do that again?' I just know we felt good walking out of that place," Hurdle summarized.