UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, knowing the Cincinnati Reds were in trouble Tuesday night when a cardinal landed on the back of a wicker chair on the patio and, uh, left a significant deposit. That cardinal might as well have been St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Kyle Lohse, who did to the Reds what that cardinal did to the chair.
For now, just call them Team Feeble.
The Cincinnati Reds couldn’t buy a run if they were available in a garage sale.
Would you believe the Reds played their fourth extra-inning game in the fifth game of this trip Tuesday night in St. Louis? Would you believe they lost for the third time in those four games?
Sure you would.
WHILE THE REDS search futilely for hits, one harkens back to something manager Dusty Baker said last week: “When you aren’t hitting, it isn’t fun to watch. But you have to scratch and claw. You have to get down the sacrifice bunts, hit-and-run, move the runners over, hit sacrifice flies. Do all the little things.”
Well, they aren’t.
They lost in 10 innings, 2-1, to the St. Louis Cardinals and they lost because they couldn’t do those smallball things.
They put their first runner on base in five of the 10 innings and only one scored. Brandon Phillips and Willie Harris both messed up sacrifice bunt attempts. After missing his bunt, Phillips lined into a double play. After missing his bunt, Harris struck out.
The Reds tried a one-out 3-and-2 hit-and-run with slew-footed Devin Mesoraco on first base in the 10th and Phillips struck out as Mesoraco got caught in a rundown between first and second for an inning-ending double play.
IT WAS A weird game, to say the least. St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse totally mesmerized and dominated the Reds for seven shutout innings.
Meanwhile, Carlos Beltran hit a one-out home run in the first inning, then through the next eight innings the Cardinals put 15 runners on base without one scoring.
Reds starter Johnny Cueto was all over the place for four innings, but stranded eight runners in the first five innings after Beltran’s home run. And Cueto held the Cardinals to that one run for seven innings.
THE REDS started the third with two straight hits, but after Drew Stubbs beat an infield single, he tried to take third on Ryan Hanigan’s single to right and Stubbs was called out at third by umpire Larry Vanover when it appeared Stubbs was safe.
They put their first two runners on in the fourth when Lohse walked Zack Cozart, only Lohse’s second walk of the season in 15 innings. Joey Votto singled to left, but Scott Rolen struck out, Jay Bruce (a career-worst 0 for 18) struck out and Ryan Ludwick struck out — zip, zilch, nada.
The Cardinals made two straight errors to open the eighth and that’s what it took for the Reds to score a run, but not before Phillips messed up his bunt attempt and lined into a double play. After missing a home run by a couple of feet outside the left field foul pole, Zack Cozart singled to right to tie it, 1-1.
Sam LeCure started the 10th and walked David Freese on a full count. Yadier Molina bunted Freese to second. Jon Jay was walked intentionally. Manager Dusty Baker brought in lefthander Bill Bray to face lefthanded batters and he promptly walked light-hitting Daniel Descalso on a full count after falling behind 3-and-0, filling the bases.
Pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter, who was 4 for 4 with five RBI against the Cubs in the Cardinals’ previous game, lined one hard to right field, just deep enough to score Freese from third, a walk-off win, the third time on this trip that the Reds got to watch the other team walk off with a win.
MAJOR LEAGUE baseball celebrates the anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first major-league game every year, as it did last Sunday when every player wore Robinson’s No. 42.
I guess it is showing respect, but it is too bad there has to be a celebration for something that never should have had to be celebrated because African Americans should have been permitted in the game a long, long, long time ago.
Significantly, though, only eight per cent of all major league players are African American this year, lowest since 1959. Ten of the 30 teams have none or only one African Americans. The Reds have two — Brandon Phillips and Willie Harris.
WHILE HE WAS known more as a long-time minor-league roving instructor for the Oakland A’s, Ron Plaza spent considerable time with the Reds.
Plaza, 77, died Sunday. He spent 12 years with the Reds organization and was third-base coach from 1979 to 1983 under managers John McNamara and Russ Nixon. Then he left the Reds and worked 30 years for the A’s and was still working when he suffered a series of strokes before dying Sunday.
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