Tuesday, July 19, 2016

MLB Week 15 – Nowhere to Go but Up


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Oh, how I hate losing to the American League.

Useless Trivia; since the National League defeated the American League 2 – 0 in 13 innings at Oakland on July 14, 1987, the “Junior Circuit” has reeled off 22 wins while losing 6 with one tie. The N.L. holds a slim advantage over the A.L. 43 – 42 – 2.

Boy do I miss the “Good Ol’ Days” of my youth, when three things were certain, death, taxes and the National League winning the All Star Game.

Are you impressed with the Reds 3 – 1 start after the All Star game? This is the best second half start under Bryan Price. It matches the start of the 2010, 2012, and 2013 Reds.

Yeah, I know, those three teams went to the playoffs.

Again, if our Reds somehow manage to win 77 games this season, I’ll humbly apologize for asking that Bryan Price be fired.

That’s 42 wins in their last 69 games, a .609-win percentage. Isn’t happening this year.

Some encouraging news; Reds relievers posted an Earned Run Average of 6.21 in April, 7.25 in May, 4.77 in June and 2.20 so far in July, sixth in baseball. In their last 33 games beginning June 10 the bullpen has posted a 3.12 E.R.A. to drop the overall bullpen Earned Run Average from 6.71 to 5.49, its lowest point since April 17.

Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York this Sunday. Congrats to both of them.

I’ll never forget the dramatic eighth two run homer Piazza hit in the first professional sporting event played in New York City after the cowardly September 11th attacks. The blast turned a one run deficit into an eventual one run win.

When Joey Votto homered in the fourth inning of Monday’s game against Atlanta, Cincinnati became the second Major League baseball team this season with five players who’ve hit at least fifteen homers. Adam Duvall (23), Jay Bruce (18), Eugenio Suarez (16) Zack Cozart and Votto (15). The A.L. East leading Baltimore Orioles is the other team.

40 Years Ago; Monday July 19, 1976 at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, the Reds beat the Pirates 4 – 2 behind the complete game pitching of eventual N.L. Rookie of the Year Pat Zachary. Zachary allowed only five hits and the two runs were both solo homers off the bat of Pirate right fielder Bill Robinson. The Reds climb to 57 – 34 a full seven game ahead in the National League West division.

Have a blessed week.

Dan Howard

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