Tuesday, June 13, 2017

MLB Week 10 - No Consistency

                                                                                (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

By Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Last week, we thought the Reds may have turned the corner and figured this thing out by doing something that hadn’t been done in fourteen years, sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in a four-game series. Cincinnati swept the Cardinals on May 5 through 8, 2003, the first season at Great American Ball Park.

For years it seemed our Reds cowered in fear while facing the Cardinals, to the point that, on August 4, 2013, I wrote a very controversial article, called “Cincinnati Yellows” describing the way Cincinnati seemingly wilted against St. Louis. You can find the article in the archives section of this website.

Useless Trivia; the last time St. Louis swept our Reds in a four-game series at Cincinnati was from July 8 (Doubleheader) – 10, 1949. At Crosley Field.

Then came the dreaded West Coast Road Trip.

Three straight losses, more so bullpen meltdowns, in Los Angeles, where the Reds seemingly haven’t won a game at Dodger Stadium since the mid-1970’s.

I think you all know who I blame for this, yet he remains the manager.

As I said in my first article of this season, I still like the acquisition of Scooter Gennett.

If someone would have told me at the beginning of the season to pick any Reds player to become the first player in franchise history to smack four homers in a game, Scooter Gennett would not have been on the list.

Ted Kluszewski didn’t do it, neither did Frank Robinson, Tony Perez, Johnny Bench, Frank McCormick, Pete Rose, Heinie Groh (1919 club leader in homers – 5) Ernie Lombardi, Eric Davis, Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Jr., Kal Daniels, Greg Vaughn, and Joey Votto, ever hit four home runs in a game.

Come to think of it, Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, and George Herman “Babe” Ruth never hit four homers in a game.

Of the seventeen players in MLB history to hit four homers in a game, Gennett, has the fewest career homers, 42. He hit nearly ten percent of his career home runs in one game.

Bobby Lowe became the first player to homer four times in a game on May 30, 1894, against the Cincinnati Reds.

I guess the Reds pitching staff was just as bad then as it is now.

More Useless Trivia; on July 14, 1902, while playing for the Corsicana Oil Citys in the Texas League, Jay Justin (J.J.) Clarke hit eight home runs in ten at bats in a 51–3 victory over the Texarkana Casketmakers. Rumor has it that the right field fence was only 200 feet from home plate. Hey, a home run is a home run no matter the distance.

My dad worked for a casket maker, Boyertown, in Columbus, Ohio from the mid-1960’s to 1972.

I once played an amateur baseball game on a football field. The ground rules stated that any ball hit over a telephone line in right field was a home run. Needless to say, we lost the game. All of us was trying to launch the ball over that darned line.

Speaking of amateurs, for the thirty-sixth straight year, I’ve not been picked in the MLB Amateur Draft.

Maybe someday. Have a blessed week.

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