This was originally published in The Athletic.
Bryan Price faced a decision Monday night.
The Reds manager’s team was locked in a five-all game with the Phillies in the eighth inning, desperately needing a win to prevent the young season from spiraling out on control before it even really begins. They’d battled back from deficits of 3-1 and 5-3, and despite being betrayed by starting pitching, defense, baserunning and clutch hitting, Price’s Reds were engaged in a game that was clearly for the taking.
In the top of the eighth, Price needed a pinch-hitter for Wandy Peralta, who’d just become the third Cincinnati reliever to turn in a solid performance, throwing an inning of scoreless ball. Jesse Winker was sent to the plate as Price wrestled with what to do when his team’s turn to bat was over.
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