Monday, September 28, 2015

MLB Week 25 - A Tale of Two Cities


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

With sincere apologies to Charles Dickens.

It was the best of times (for Pittsburgh), it was the worst of times (for Cincinnati).

This past Wednesday, Sept. 23, the Pittsburgh Pirates accomplished something for the fourth time in their franchise history that our beloved Reds have NEVER done. Qualified for the postseason in three consecutive years. You read that right, the Cincinnati Reds have never played postseason baseball in three consecutive seasons.

Useless Trivia; the four times the Pirates made the playoffs in three consecutive years, 1901 – 1903, 1970 – 1972, 1990 – 1992, and 2013 – 2015. Unfortunately, for the Bucs, during those streak years, the Pirates made the World Series just four times, 1901 – 1903, and 1971.

The Reds have made the playoffs in back to back seasons a four times, 1939 – 1940, 1972 – 1973, 1975 – 1976, and 2012 – 2013.

If there were a Wild Card in 1974, the Reds would have made the playoffs. At 98 – 64 Cincinnati had baseball’s second best record, but fell four games shy of the team with the best record in baseball, the N.L. West champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

For argument’s sake, I think the 1993 N.L. West pennant chase between the San Francisco Giants and the eventual division champ Atlanta Braves may have been the best ever. The Giants finished 1993 with a 103 – 59 record, but lost to the Dodgers on the last game of the season which enabled the Braves to clinch.

The 104 – 58 Atlanta Braves fell to the Philadelphia Phillies in the N.L.C.S.

Isn’t it depressing to know that the New York Mets junior varsity team is that much better than our varsity Reds?

You know, I just thought for sure the Reds would win Sunday’s game against the drunken, hungover Mets.

The last time the Mets swept the Reds in a four game series was July 25 – 28, 2011 at Great American. It is the first time in franchise history the Mets swept a season series against the Reds. The Mets were 7 – 0 this season against Cincinnati.

At .643 (27 – 15) the Mets own the best winning percentage of any team in Great American Ball Park history, including the Reds!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the Mets are the second visiting team to soil Great American clubhouse with champagne from a division championship. I think the 2008 Chicago Cubs also clinched at GABP.

In my humble opinion, this season may be worse that the 101 loss season of 1982. It’s definitely the most embarrassing. More of that next week in my “Final Thoughts of 2015” column.

I don’t expect Bryce Harper and Jonathan Papelbon to be exchanging Christmas gifts this offseason.

75 Years Ago – Sunday Sept. 29, 1940; Cincinnati closes out the 1940 season with an 11 – 3 at Crosley Field versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. Next up for the Reds, 1940 American League Champion Detroit Tigers on Wednesday October 2.

40 Years Ago – Sunday Sept. 28, 1975; The Big Red Machine ends the greatest regular season in franchise history with a 7 – 6 win over the Atlanta Braves. The win was the 108th of the season and Cincinnati finished winning ten of their last eleven games.

25 Years Ago – Saturday Sept. 29, 1990; the Wire to Wire season was complete, the Cincinnati Reds clinched the N.L. West title with five games remaining in the regular season.

I wonder if Philadelphia fans booed the Pope, like they did Santa Claus a few years ago?

Have a blessed week.

Dan Howard

Photo Credit: Bleacher Report

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