Wednesday, June 20, 2012
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave while watching the Cleveland Catastrophe when the Cincinnati Reds crash-dived into Lake Erie, a three-game sweep by the Indians after just last week the Reds swept three from the Tribe in Great American Ball Park.
JUSTIN MASTERFUL (His name is Masterson, but to the Cincinnati Reds he was Mr. Masteful) grew up in nearby Beavercreek and how good would he looking wearing a Cincinnati Reds uniform?
Master(ful) was magnificent Wednesday night, force-feeding the Reds a three-hit, nine-strikeout complete game as the Tribe completed the three-game sweep, 8-1.
To put an exclmation point on his practically peerless performance, he struck out Joey Votto looking to end it.
Master(ful) began the game with an ugly 3-6 record, but when he pitches Cleveland’s bats turn to Silly Putty. They had scored only 2.95 runs per game when Master(ful) started, lowest in the American League.
But when the Tribe tagged Reds started Bronson Arroyo for five runs in the fourth inning, Masterson made certain he used the windfall to his best advantage.
ARROYO NEEDED 90 pitches to get through four innings, 34 in the fourth when he gave up a two-run home run to Johnny Damon and a three-run home run to Asdrubel Cabrera.
Through 6 2/3 innings, Master(ful) faced the minimum 20 batters. He hit Chris Heisey with a pitch in the first inning but Joey Votto hit into a double play. Heisey singled in the fourth but was thrown out trying to steal.
The Reds didn’t get their second hit until the seventh with Votto singled with two outs.
THE TRIBE SCORED three more in the bottom of the seventh against Alfredo Simon, but the Reds should have been out of the inning.
With a runner on first, a ball was hit to Joey Votto at first base. He threw to second for an apparent force out, but umpire Jim Wolf ruled that shortstop Zack Cozart bobbled the ball, although replays showed no bobbled appeared.
Lonnie Chisenhull, the Tribe’s No. 8 hitter, then cleared the bases with a three-run double to make it 8-0.
Master(ful) had pitched 18 straight scoreless innings when the Reds finally scored in the eighth. But the run was unearned because Jay Bruce reached base on an error and later scored after Todd Frazier doubled, his only hit of the series, and Willie Harris grounded out to score Bruce.
So the not-so-coveted Ohio Cup stays in Cleveland. The teams split the six games, 3-3, but since the Tribe won the Cup last year the Reds had to win more games to take it back to Cincinnati.
AN UNVERIFIED REPORT out of Las Vegas says that the number ‘19’ hit seven straight times on a roulette wheel at the Rio casino. Wonder if any Joey Votto fans were there playing his No. 19. If so, they probably have as much money now as he does.
WHEN ONE TALKS about a pitcher changing speeds, nobody does it more than Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo, even on nights when he isn’t on his game.
For kicks, I kept track of the pitches he threw in the third inning Wednesday against the Indians and here, in order, were the speeds: 88, 70, 74, 86, 74, 79, 83, 89, 89, 69.
Fortunately, I didn’t chart the fourth inning, a 34-pitch disaster during which he gave up a single, two walks, two home runs that added up to five runs.
WITH THE ALL-STAR game approaching, I have to tell this one on my wife, Nadine.
In the late 1980’s, Nadine accompanied me to the Dodgers-Cardinals playoffs in St. Louis and we ran into Dayton-born catcher Steve Yeager, who wore a curly perm hair-style.
Fast forward to 1997 and the All-Star game in Cleveland. At the All-Star gala, I ran into another catcher who wore his hair in a curly perm, Gary Carter.
I started to introduce her when she said, “Wait a minute. I know you. You’re a catcher, right?”
Carter smiled and said, “Yes, I was.”
And Nadine proudly said, “You’re Steve Yeager.” Whoops. Hey, she got the catcher part right.Tweet