Tuesday, June 14, 2011
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave while noticing something very odd about the Cincinnati Reds’ lineup Monday night. Eight of the nine players did the same thing. What was it? Answer at the bottom.
SOME STRANGE memories from the Dodger Stadium area during my visits there:
—One night after a game, I was riding back to the hotel with MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon and as we left the stadium parking lot onto Elysian Blvd. two coyotes crossed the street in front of us. I thought the Coyotes played in Phoenix.
—One day while playing tennis in Echo Park, a ball bounced over the fence and into some trash. As we walked behind the fence to retrieve the ball, we found a body. The man wasn’t dead, just passed out with three empty whiskey bottles next to him. No, it wasn’t Charlie Sheen.
—One of my favorite dining spots in downtown LA is the Pacific Dining Car. But every car in the parking lot is a Mercedes, Bentley, Jaguar, Ferrari or Lamborghini. When you go there, make sure your credit card has no charges on it.
TELL ME IT isn’t all about pitching. Pitching, pitching and pitching.
For the eighth straight games, a Cincinnati Reds starter pitched into the seventh inning — something that hasn’t happened with the Reds since 1992.
On Monday night in Dodger Stadium, it was Bronson Arroyo pitching 7 2/3 innings. He gave up four runs on six hits, walked none and struck out one.
He had retired 11 straight entering the eighth inning and had a 6-2 lead when he gave up an infield hit, then a triple to flashy rookie Dee Gordon, son of former major-league pitcher Tom “Flash” Gordon. Gordon scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 6-4 and manager Dusty Baker brought in lefty Bill Bray to face lefty Andre Ethier and Bray struck him out.
THE REDS had not hit a home run in six games when Chris Heisey came to bat in the sixth, the longest homerless stretch for the Reds since 2006. With two outs and nobody on, his team trailing by one run, 2-1, Heisey rectified that with a long blast into the left field bleachers - and, yes, it is time to give Heisey most of the playing time in left field. He also singled his first time up and came around to score on a Paul Janish single in the second that tied the game, 1-1.
The Reds scored the runs they needed in the seventh, an inning that began when rookie shortstop Dee Gordon booted a routine ground ball by Ryan Hanigan. Amazingly, Gordon had made three mind-scrambling defensive plays earlier in the game, two on Joey Votto.
Janish forced Hanigan at second, but second baseman Aaron Miles threw the relay into the first base dugout and Janish was given second base. Arroyo broke the 2-2 tie with a bloop single to right field that score Janish.
After Brandon Phillips walked, Votto hit one where Gordon couldn’t glove it - a deep three-run home run into the right field bleachers for a 6-2 lead.
GORDON WASN’T the only one to flash leather on this night, although those two errors by the Dodgers in the seventh helped the Reds’ rally.
Janish and Votto made back-to-back above-and-beyond plays in the Dodgers second.
OF COURSE, closer Coco Cordero had to set hearts palpitating in the Reds dugout by walking Matt Kemp to open the ninth, enabling the Dodgers to send the tying run to the plate three times.
Coco coolly struck out James Loney after a long battle, he struck out pinch-hitter Rod Barajas and he struck out Dioner Navarro — good morning, good afternoon and good night.
Amazingly, the Reds have won the first game of a series six straight times. They are 3-2 on the trip and are only 3 ½ games out of first place.
QUIZ ANSWER: Eight of the nine players in the Reds lineup used black bats. Only Stubbs used the white ash - and he went hitless with three strikeouts. A hint for Stubbs. Use a black bat tonight.Tweet