UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, wearig a sweat shirt to ward off the chill after three days ago it was too hot to sit in The Cave with any clothes on.
How can a pitcher do what Dontrelle Willis did on Labor Day in Wrigley Field, where the Reds lost, 4-3, their major-league worst 30th one-run loss?
—In the first inning he retired the Cubs 1-2-3 by throwing 10 straight strikes. No ball.
—In the second inning he went 1-2-3, throwing eight pitches.
—In the third inning he went 1-2-3 again — a perfect game for three innings and his 200th major-league start was on course to be a great one.
THEN WHAT happened? A four-tire blowout.
—In the fourth inning Willis walked the bases loaded and was fortunate to give up just one run on a single by Alfonso Soriano.
—In the fifth inning, with two outs and nobody on, he gave up fourth straight hits and three runs.
It boggles even the most feeble of minds.
Of course, Willis was unfortunate in that fifth inning. With two outs and one on, Reed Johnson hit a ball to deep left, right where the brick wall juts out. It’s the same spot on which Yonder Alonso misplayed a carom off that jutting wall the last time the Reds were in Wrigley and Springboro’s Tony Campos turned it into an inside the park home run.
This time Alonso had a bead on Johnson’s ball but missed it and the ball disappeared into the vines on the wall for a ground rule double, prolonging the inning long enough for the Cubs to score three runs.
WILLIS LEFT after the seventh inning, deprived once again of a win and he remains 0-5. Over his last 39 major-league starts, Willis has won three times.
DEVIN MESORACO made his major-league starting debut and was impressive, even though he permitted one ball to get past him.
In addition to driving in his first RBI with a ground ball, he made a nice play to catch a pop foul against the screen and he blocked home plate to prevent Giovanny Soto from scoring a run.
Manager Dusty Baker started Mesoraco, Alonso and third baseman Juan Francisco. Alonso had two hits, drove in the first run and scored the third run. Mesoraco was 0 for 4 with the ground ball RBI and Francisco was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and an error.
BAKER PUT Stubbs in the No. 2 spot in the batting order for the first time this year and he drew a first-inning walk and scored on Alonso’s two-out single, but Stubbs was 1 for 3, an infield hit, and struck out twice.
Of immediate concern is the 0 for 12 put together by Joey Votto and when he fouled out to third in the sixth inning it was only the second time in two years he has popped out to the infield.
FIVE WORST UNIFORMS I’VE SEEN:
ONE: Chicago White Sox when owner Bill Veeck had them wearing clam-digger shorts and collars on the jerseys. They looked like a team of Little Lord Fauntleroys.
TWO: San Diego Padres in the 70’s when they wore mustard yellow and brown. They looked like losers in a hot dog eating contest.
THREE: Houston Astros in the 70’s when they wore their Rainbow Coalition uniforms with yellow, orange and blue stripes around the stomach. The only guy who would ever to look good in them was Rusty Staub, because he had orange hair to match the orange stripes, but they traded him to Montreal before the rainbow uniforms were worn.
FOUR: Colorado Rockies and their current road uniforms, purple vest-type tops that make them look like over-ripe grapes.
FIVE: Cleveland Indians of the mid-70s when they wore all red — red tops and red pants, making them look like walking thermometers on a very hot day. And 300-pound Boog Powell looked like The Great Tomato.Tweet