Tuesday, June 6, 2017

MLB Week 9 - The Reds are Playing Like....

By Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Stool, guava, dung, $&!#, poop. Any way you describe it, our Reds are playing that way.

Last week I wrote about the streakiness of this season, then last week Cincinnati goes out and promptly lays a, uh, egg.

Had it not been for Devin Mesoraco’s walk off homer in the tenth inning last Friday, the Reds would have been winless last week.

Mesoraco has a thing about hitting walk off homers versus Atlanta. Remember the blast he hit off Craig Kimbrel a few years ago.

I’m writing this while standing because my butt is still sore from the 17 – 2 beat down last Monday at the hands of the merciless Toronto Blue Jays.

Speaking of last Monday at Toronto, the 17-2 loss, Cincinnati allowed a season high 17 runs and gave up 23 hits in a game for the first time since giving up 25 hits in a 17 – 9 loss versus Atlanta at Riverfront Stadium on May 1, 1985. The 17 runs were the most scored by the Blue Jays in a game this season and their 23 hits were the third-most in franchise history.

Useless Trivia; in that 1985 game against the Braves, every position player collected at least two hits, led by Chris Chambliss with four. Braves bolted out to a 12 – 0 lead after two innings, 13 – 1 lead after three. John Stuper was the Reds starting pitcher, giving up five runs on five hits in only one-third of an inning. The late Frank Pastore took the brunt of Atlanta’s onslaught allowing seven runs on ten hits in one and a third inning.

The Reds finished second in the National League West that year. And the next year, and the next, and the next. Four straight second place finishes from 1985 to 1988.

In case you were wondering, that was Toronto’s first ever sweep against the Reds.

Prior to last Friday’s dramatic 3-2 win in 10 innings, the Reds had lost 225 consecutive games in which they trailed by more than one run in the ninth inning or later. It was the Major Leagues’ longest active losing streak.

Devin Mesoraco became the first Reds player to hit a game-ending homer without appearing in the first nine innings of that game since Laynce Nix hit a home run off the New York Mets Manny Acosta in the 11th inning on May 3, 2010.

That win was number 1099 all-time against Atlanta.

That was a warm and well-deserved reception Brandon Phillips received in his first at bat back in Cincinnati after being traded to Atlanta last offseason.

With apologies to Ron Oester but Brandon Phillips was undoubtedly the Reds best second baseman since Joe Morgan.

Phillips is the Reds all-time leader among franchise second basemen in hits (1774), doubles (311), home runs (191), and runs batted in (852). Phillips is second, by a mile, to Joe Morgan in stolen bases. Morgan had 406, Phillips had 194.

At 42 – 16, the Houston Astros may be baseball’s best team.

More Useless Trivia; on July 4, 1979, the Houston Astros defeated the Reds 3 – 2 to take a 10.5 game lead over Cincinnati in the N.L. West. The Astros collapsed after the All-Star break while Cincinnati caught fire. The Reds clinched the N.L. West on the final weekend of the 1979 season.

Just keeping it real, Astro fans,

Isn’t it about time for the NBA season to end?

Have a blessed week. Keep up the heat, Nashville Predators!!!

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