UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave while wondering how The Cathay House in Chinatown is staying open without my patronage and what are they doing with all the General Tsao’s chicken, egg noodles and won-ton soup they used to serve me?
Everybody expected a disaster movie from the Cincinnati Reds on this seven-game west coast trip and they sor of shocked everybody Thursday by shutting out the San Francisco Giants in Game One.
And there they were on Friday night, leading the Giants, 2-1, in the fifth inning in AT&T Park.
Could it be? Could they start Trip Terrible with a 2-and-0 record?
Uh, no. The Reds lost, 3-2, but how they achieved that defeat is an encyclopedia of how to leave more people stranded than the Minnow on Gilligan’s Island.
THE GIANTS TIED it in the fifth. Miguel Tejada, who could hit against the Reds while wearing a sleeping mask, came to bat with two outs and a runner on second. With first base open, how about an intentional walk?
Travis Wood fell behind 2-and-0, then grooved a fastball and Tejada drilled it to left field to tie it, 2-2.
And that’s the way it stayed into the ninth inning. Wood pitched eight innings and gave up two runs, 10 hits, walked three and struck out four for his 109 pitches.
For his hard night’s work, Wood got nothing because the Reds’ bullpen doesn’t seem to have all its eggs in the basket these days.
JOSE ARREDONDO started the ninth by walking Andres Torres on four pitches. Emmanuel Burris bunted Torres to second and this time the Reds wisely walked Tejado intentionally.
Bill Bray came in to face rookie left-hander Brandon Crawford and struck him out on three pitches for the second out.
Logan Ondrusek replaced Bray and walked Cody Ross on five pitches to fill the bases. Nate Schierholtz ended the game abruptly by pumping Ondrusek’s second pitch into left field for a walk-off single.
The Giants won this one, 3-2. Incredibly, 18 of the 29 games in AT&T this year have been decided by one run. And with their Friday win, the Giants are 18-9 in one-run games this year.
WHEN IT COMES to execution on this night, the Reds were perfect — they executed themselves every way possible.
—They had two on with one out in the second, but Paul Janish bounced into a double play.
—The Reds had two on with two outs in the third, but Jay Bruce flied to center.
—A bad inning surfaced in the fourth. The Reds did score a run, but it was like kissing your mother. They had two on with nobody out and scored only one run. Scott Rolen led the inning with a triple, Chris Heisey walked and Ryan Hanigan singled to right to score Rolen. But Janish struck out, Wood bunted the runners to second and third, but Drew Stubbs struck out.
—Think that was bad? If it didn’t get worse, than Jeremiah isn’t a bull frog. The Reds did score a run, but it was like kissing your grandmother. They had the bases loaded with no outs and scored one run. Rolen struck out, a run scored on Heisey’s weak ground out to first base and Hanigan grounded out.
GET THE PICTURE? Get the pattern? The Reds had enough chances to choke a sword swallower and did nothing.
The eighth inning was astounding. San Francisco relief pitcher Sergio Romo struck out the side and his first 10 pitches were strikes (counting foul balls). He threw 13 pitches, 12 for strikes.
The ninth inning was a Message in a Bottle, the message being, “The Reds aren’t going to win this one.”
It was 2-2 and pinch-hitter Fred Lewis led the inning with an infield hit against Giants closer Brian Wilson.
That called for Stubbs to lay down a sacrifice bunt. Oh, my. For those who constantly chirp and harp and hoot that Stubbs needs to bunt more, well, if they saw his feeble effort on this occasion they’d be saying, “Please, don’t ever try to bunt.” His two attempts were butt ugly and then he struck out.
And, of course, Brandon Phillips then grounded into an inning-ending double play — and, as it turned out, the game-ending double play when the Giants scored in the bottom of the ninth.
Put this one in a satchel and drop it off the Golden Gate Bridge with a concrete block on it.Tweet