Tuesday, August 23, 2016

MLB Week 20: Anomalies

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

I guess the universe has returned to normal after last weekend.

If you would have told me last week that our beloved Reds would pound the N.L. West contender Los Angeles Dodgers, to the tune of twenty total runs scored on Friday and Saturday, I would have suggested that you have a checkup from the neck up.

The Reds were sharply brought down to Earth on Sunday and Monday, losing 4 – 0 and getting bludgeoned 18 – 9 respectively, thanks to seven Dodger homers, three by Adrian Gonzalez.

Useless Trivia; here are some facts about Monday’s loss.

Reds pitchers allowed 7 home runs, tying the modern franchise record, and established season highs by allowing 18 runs on 21 hits.

Dodgers batters hit 3 sets of back-to-back homers for the first time in franchise history.

In the fifth inning, the Dodgers hit 4 homers on a pair of back-to-back sets, by Andrew Toles & Rob Segedin and by Corey Seager & Adrian Gonzalez.

The homers by Toles & Segedin were the first Major League homers for each, they became the first pair of teammates in Dodgers history to hit their first career homers back-to-back.

Adrian Gonzalez tied his career high with three home runs and established a new career high with 8 RBI.

Corey Seager hit his 22nd homer to tie the Dodgers’ single-season franchise record for a shortstop (Glenn Wright, 1930).

Cincinnati’s Tyler Holt became the first position player to pitch for the Reds since Skip Schumaker did it on August 21, 2014 vs Atlanta. In the ninth inning, Holt retired the Dodgers in order on 5 pitches (Joc Pederson, Howie Kendrick, Andrew Toles).

Sometimes you just have to discipline that petulant little child to make it behave.

Still a 5 – 3 home stand is still pretty impressive considering all the bad that has happened this season. We actually moved into fourth place in the N.L. Central division on Saturday.

BREAKING NEWS…. Joey Votto is on fire.

In last Tuesday’s 6 – 3 win versus the Marlins, Florida’s Ichiro Suzuki recorded his first career hit at Great American Ball Park, a ninth inning triple.

For a moment, during Monday’s Little League World Series game between Bowling Green KY and Johnston IA, I thought I was watching the Reds. Prior to exploding for eleven runs in the top of the seventh, Bowling Green was a blistering zero for fourteen with runners in scoring position.

Best wishes to former NFL player Tim Tebow, who is scheduled to try out for twenty MLB teams on August 30. Tebow last played baseball in high school over a decade ago, and, in my humble opinion, was “black-balled” from the “No Fun League” on account of his strong Christian beliefs. I’ll never forget the playoff game that the Tebow led Denver Broncos beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on the first play of overtime. Our prayers are with you.

40 Years Ago; Sunday August 29, 1976, in the conclusion of a four game series featuring the top two National League teams, Cincinnati defeated Philadelphia 6 to 5 in fifteen innings. Cesar Geronimo led the Reds with four hits, while Ken Griffey’s walk off single gave Cincinnati the series three games to one.

Just a brief note on the gritty performance Michael Lorenzen had last Friday night. It was Lorenzen’s first game since the death of his father Clif. Lorenzen pitched one and two thirds scoreless innings and delivered an emotional three run homer, visibly weeping while circling the bases. It reminded me of Brett Farve’s unbelievable Monday Night Football game the day after his dad passed.

My dad died September 23, 2011 of a lengthy illness, and on the morning of his funeral, September 26, I went to my job and put in a half day of work, not to be away from my family, but to honor him. He always stressed the importance of faith, dedication and especially hard work, and I couldn’t think of a better way to remember all the things he taught me than to do one of the things he stressed – work. I remember all those sixteen hour days he’d put into the coal mines to provide for my family. Dad led by example.

Just like my dad did to me, I stress those things to my children, and I too try to lead by example.

I miss you, Dad.


Dan Howard

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