They carried the momentum of their late rush into the second game. Pinson hit a home run in the first inning off that Dodger faster-bailer, Don Drysdale, the most unpopular man in Cincinnati because of his proclivity for hitting Red batters. The Reds drove Drysdale out in the sixth inning and won easily 8-3.
Having got their split the hard way, the Reds now had a lead that was impressive, if not decisive. They have played seven more games than the Dodgers and won them all. With 12 open dates in their schedule, they need start only their three best pitchers, Purkey, Joey Jay and Jim O'Toole. They also have six games against last-place Philadelphia while the Dodgers have seven against third-place and always-testy San Francisco.
Because of their personnel the Dodgers may still be, in theory, the best team in the league. But time has grown short, the Reds have shown their nerve, and it's an axiom of baseball that when September comes the likely pennant winner is really the best team. That's Cincinnati.