This one all goes back to the ‘magic’ we continue to talk about down at Chavez Ravine.
Following up a HUGE 1-0 victory by the Dodgers on the night my son was born, the Giants are about to get their payoff. In a must-have game for the Giants, Matt Moore is going to throw a no-hitter at Dodger Stadium.
Except; no he isn’t. Because .322-hitting Corey Seager is going to duckfart one into right field and with two out in the ninth and the dream of the Giants’ no-no on their big getaway day at their hated rival’s place is over. Moore looks slightly annoyed.
Even in defeat, the Dodgers crowd gets to feel like (and sounds like) they won a little bit on a night they lost. Magic.
Magical night last night at Dodger Stadium where the Bums had a statement win over the Giants and their ace Madison Bumgarner. And the Dodgers lefties went to work early on MadBum. This surprised me – I expected the Giants to win this game because the Dodgers are so lefty heavy.
But Corey Seager did what he always does; multi-hit game. Little Andrew Toles homered. Adrian Gonzalez is slashing like he’s 25 again. Some guy named Rob Segedin – we know exactly who he is but you don’t yet, and shouldn’t – slapped a home run off Bumgarner. Vin Scully was on the call.
It’s all working for the Dodgers right now.
Kenta Maeda wasn’t perfect, but was good enough to get his 13th win and without a doubt he’s been the glue that held this makeshift rotation together.
This was the longest game in Yankees franchise history in terms of time – we actually had a friend at the game – for at least some of it.
This game had a little bit of everything, and it’s the kind of unpredictable little lottery that buying a ticket to a baseball game can provide. It’s honestly the type of game we’ve always wanted to be present at.
There was a 16-minute power outage at the game, making the official time of the game six hours, 49 minutes. With the power outage factored in, officially it was not the longest game in franchise history.
We started watching this one somewhere around the 13th. It was a game that just wanted to stay tied. The Red Sox led with two outs in the ninth when Edward Mujica surrendered a home run to Chase Headley to send it to extras.
Then the Red Sox grabbed two leads in extra innings that the Yankees came back to tie; one on a home run by David Ortiz and the other on a single by Pablo Sandoval.
The winning run in the top of the 19th scored on a sac fly after a Yankees passed ball allowed by John Ryan Murphy.
The Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals locked up in a late night game that didn’t get underway until almost 11 PM on the east coast due to a lengthy rain delay. The Nationals won the game 4-1 in 11 innings, but as it often happens when two rivals get together, the final score was the secondary story.
Of course, this sent Braves fans into an uproar. Saying that Harper didn’t respect their logo (he doesn’t need to), and generally leading them to say that the kid lacks all kinds of respect and whatnot.
I think it’s great. For all the unbecoming things Harper has accomplished this season – hitting .250, getting hurt a lot, base-running blunders what seems like every other night – this is what’s great about the kid. He isn’t stupid and is simply stirring up the rivalry. Of course he probably has programmed himself to hate playing Atlanta, especially in Atlanta; a team that has been the Nationals very own House of Horrors.
At the end of the day, baseball is entertainment. Some argue that it’s not entertaining enough. They’re nuts, of course. But that’s what people say. When something like this goes down, it should make the public crave more of these two getting together. Like, what the Hell is going to happen tonight when they face off on Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN after they’ve had a night to sleep on Harper scuffing their prize logo?
Man the Oakland Athletics sure are annoying. They have a bunch of junk-heap guys who seemingly just fit into place and get the job done. Sure, it’s to the credit of a mastermind General Manager who is one of the greatest of all-time. But it doesn’t make them any more entertaining.
And it’s not just their roster that gives me that sense of dread, it’s their damn morgue of a park! There was a game cancelled there for sewage overflow this year!
Look, I thought the little run they made to the postseason in the early 2000’s was a great story and great for baseball. You know what isn’t great for baseball? The A’s getting in the playoffs now and keeping a team with star appeal like the Angels out.
Ernesto Frieri feels that the Angels are the better team, and he was feeling froggy about this so he jumped. Queue up the OC Register, please.
“We played really good baseball against a really good team,” Frieri said Sunday. “It’s good for our confidence, to let us know that we can beat anybody.”
Frieri was then asked if anybody included the Oakland Athletics, the team that easily swept the Angels just one week ago and the team the Angels host for three games beginning Monday. He didn’t hesitate.
“We’re going to beat them,” Frieri said. “Get ready to write that. I hate to say this, but they have a little bit extra luck. If you pay attention every play, it’s stupid how the game goes their way.”
I agree with Frieri that they probably will ‘beat them’. The Angels have played like six games against the A’s this season (losing five) so with 13 left to go; they probably won’t get skunked. But you get Frieri’s poorly made point; the A’s are a sack of shit and fuck their producing lineup with Brandon Moss, Coco Crisp and that dweeb Eric Sogard going out their every night and getting it done. Derrick Norris is going all Scott Hatteberg on us from the right side so he can suck one too.
I hate the A’s, their shitty stadium, and their boring ass games that put me to sleep. I hope this rivalry ends with Mike Scioscia taking a big stinky dump that overflows into the A’s home dugout in September and cancels another game.
There were some late-night Friday firewords out at Chavez Ravine last evening, and I was lucky enough to catch it live. Yasiel Puig continues to be one of the most electrifying watches in the sport. And Madison Bumgarner is a chippy crybaby.
Puig is one of those talents that still manages to do something each night, even if an elite talent is on the mound and on top of their game (San Francisco won the game 3-1). He’s on the cusp of entering that next dimension in the sport right now – if you watch him night over night he’s really been on fire lately and having great at bats. I am glad I caught this part of the game:
I like what our friendly neighborhood Puig did here; notice that Bumgarner was quite the sportsman when he quick-pitched Puig to take an easy strike on his opponent. All is fair and well. When Puig steps back in the box and gets all of a Bumgarner fastball up in the zone and then flips his bat and puts his head down (it’s just his thing, relax) Bumgarner suddenly takes exception to another aspect that is simply part of the game.
Last night Homer Bailey took the ball and 7 and 1/3 scoreless against the might and feared St. Louis Cardinals lineup. The Reds won the game 1-0 in a series that they have to find a way to win – a series that is arguably the most important the Reds have played all season. That’s two starts in a row that Bailey has taken the ball against St. Louis and shut them out, 14.1 innings in all. He struck out 15 and walked three in those two starts, displaying something no one talks about enough when talking about Bailey; a 5 to 1 K to BB ratio. Bailey can be inconsistent, but when he’s on he’s the best pitcher the Reds can put out there.
Bailey has taken the ball twice recently in “winning time” starts against the Cardinals; games the Reds really had to have, and delivered sparkling performances. His record now sits at 10-10, but this is going to end up the season that stands out at Bailey’s best on the back of his baseball card.
The stuff that Bailey displayed last night is why I roll him out there in a one-game playoff against the same Cardinals or the Pittsburgh Pirates. Any pitcher has the chance they could get lit. But if Bailey’s on, he’s the best option the Reds have. He seems to thrive the most in a big spotlight – think about the two no-hitters, think about the NLDS game three last year against the Giants at home (as much as it hurts), and think about the last two starts against the Cardinals.
Some may argue that Mat Latos is the Reds’ ace. It’s a close call and a good argument can be made for either guy. But in one game that I have to have if I’m the Reds – backs to the wall – I’m handing the ball to the country boy from Texas and seeing if David Dewitt Bailey brings it home.
Have to commend Harper for not charging the mound here – his worthless team needs him right now. And I cannot believe the Nationals didn’t have the stones to retaliate. That’s honestly as big of a sign that exists that the game has passed old Davey Johnson by.
And then there’s this:
Nothing like a few Official team twitter accounts throwing barbs at eachother; most likely a couple of college interns who will be relieved of their duties soon. Would love to ask the Braves teen that is running the control deck on twitter what Harper is supposed to do differently there?
I missed a lot of this game for date night, but I returned home for the climactic ending. And thus brings another point, FOX has gone and pulled a fast one that we actually like. I believe FOX did Saturday Night Baseball (aka Baseball Night in America) telecasts last year, but now they’re a regularly scheduled item.
While I miss the afternoon Saturday telecasts, I believe this is good for the game. And FOX is dressing things up by designing this fancy little logo which can be nothing more than a spin off of what the NFL has done with it’s big Sunday Football Night in America telecasts.
The Reds got into a 1-0 hole early. And then the texts started to flow in. Several friends while I was at dinner with ‘BRUUUUUUUUUCE’ texts. And by now I know what that means. Jay Bruce had hit his 10th home run of the season to tie the game at 1-1.
It was arguably the best team win of the year. Mat Latos did his thing in a game the Reds had to have and improved to 6-0. Shin Soo Choo, Derrick Robinson, Joey Votto, Bruce, and Devin Mesoraco all had two hits each. Bruce added what may or may not have been a home run saving catch. You be the judge:
The game came to a close on a controversial call, with Aroldis Chapman getting the save after Joey Votto appeared to pull his foot on a Todd Frazier throw. We’ll take it!
The win left the Reds three games behind the Cardinals entering the big Sunday Night Baseball showdown on ESPN.
Over the course of my lifetime, especially in recent times; the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds have had some series battles that were absolutely incredible. This is one of the most underrated rivalries in the entire sport – and when these two shades of red converge – you see some of the finest quality of play that can be produced.
There have been so many classic battles between these two teams that you begin to let the history all bleed into one. You don’t remember a lot of series game by game, but you remember the big moments. The Reds have won a few rounds in this 12-round fight, but they’re yet to really land the knockout punch on the Cardinals, even in their age of resurgence since 2010.
The Reds enter the weekend a full three games behind the Cardinals. They’re battered and bruised, and they need to take two of three games from the division leading Redbirds, there’s no more simpler math. Anything less, and the Reds are going to start the slide in this race.
This will be another chapter in the never ending story; a battle that is sure to still be raging as a 100-year plus war when my son is my age. And this weekend will have it’s tense moments. It’s the only guarantee. There’s nothing like a Reds/Cardinals weekend series. It even culminates with a Sunday Night Baseball match-up, which you have to love if you’re a Queen City resident.
So light the grill, drink a few extra Budweiser’s, and get in the fast lane grandma. The bingo game is about to start. And if the Reds lose God help them because the Covington, Kentucky natives will be out in full force with their pitch forks on their porch, twelve beers deep and calling the 700 WLW phone lines after the loss.
We’ve got to make our move right now. It’s getting late awfully early.
On the weekend that my best friend tied the knot (the Reds lost to the Cardinals on my big day), the Reds swept the Cardinals and reclaimed sole possession of first place in the NL Central standings. They played on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball last night. It’s the first time it’s been in Cincinnati in a very long time. Last night was about as large as a July ballgame gets. The Reds showed the nation that pitching, defense, and timely hitting are the best ways to build something special.
I think Friday and Saturday night’s games were additional evidence in this. I didn’t realize that the Reds basically have the finest defense in baseball. The starting pitching and bullpen have been phenomenal. It’s the hitting that has ran pretty hot-cold. And if you’re going to have one ingredient that is going to waiver with your ball club, I think you should want it to be the hitting. Everyone slumps. If you can keep pitching and defense from going into slumps you can manufacture enough runs to win. Especially in Great American Ball Park.
The Reds hitting will come around. I remember so many weekends where it wasn’t even fathomable to sweep the high and mighty St. Louis Cardinals. To even go into Sunday with a chance of a sweep was like playing in the Super Bowl. Last night, I expected the win. I knew Homer Bailey would pitch his ass off.
The Reds are going to win the division this year. They’re going to go to the NLCS. Believe it. Know it. Times might get ugly, but more often than not they’ll find a way (it doesn’t get much uglier than Scott Rolen winning one for you with an opposite field single).
This is the team that you waited since 1990 and 1995 for Cincinnati. Try to soak it in.
And this time, it’s not just because he’s sticking up for Bryce Harper. Or because he obviously likes Harper for the same reasons I do. But it’s because he does those things more eloquently and subtle than I’ve done in the past on this very blog. And this is all just in time for tonight’s Nationals v. Phillies showdown on ESPN Wednesday Night Baseball.
He takes Hamels to task, kind of like we did.
“That’s something I grew up watching,” Hamels said, “I’m just trying to continue the old baseball because I think some people are kind of getting away from it. I remember when I was a rookie the strike zone was really, really small and you didn’t say anything because that’s the way baseball is. But I think unfortunately the league’s protecting certain players and making it not that old school, prestigious way of baseball. It’s just, ‘Welcome to the big leagues.’ ”
This doesn’t make a lot of sense. How does the strike zone when Cole Hamels was a rookie have anything to do with Bryce Harper? How is the league “protecting” Bryce Harper? (He’d been in the league a week.) And what is Cole Hamels talking about with this “something I grew up watching”? Cole Hamels is 28 years old; he grew up watching Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco and all those players everyone has spent the last decade screaming on television about being the opposite of “old school.” Did he have a dream that he grew up watching different players?
And he makes the best and most truthful point following that.
But the craziest thing about Hamels’ notion was that “old school” was somehow prestigious. Baseball—always, now, then and forever—is the furthest thing from prestigious. Baseball has been a sport for scoundrels and rapscallions; this is why it’s fun.
Yes. Harper is a rapscallion. He is a scoundrel. A scoundrel, dirt-eating, hustling gift given to us by the baseball gods to enjoy for two decades. He’s… more old school than Hamels. Right Leitch?
The funny part about this is that I can’t think of a more old school player—in the way I think Hamels was trying to define it—than Bryce Harper. I interviewed Harper earlier this year, and all he could talk about was how much he admired—and patterned every aspect of his game around—guys like Pete Rose and Ty Cobb. Harper is one of those guys who plays every game like it’s his last, who dives and spits and knocks over catchers and loves baseball in a profound, aggressive way.
I hope Harper gets a few old knocks off Hamels this evening. And if there was any doubt that he would be in the lineup, you don’t even have to wonder. He plays for a manager cut from his own old-school mold.
Alright, so we realize it’s been an all-out Harper fest in these parts lately. He’s collected multiple hits in 4 out of 5 ballgames and last night he went up against Roy Halladay (a man some 15 years his senior) for the first time.
The other day, Eckstein and Harper had a conversation about how different major league pitchers would attack him. One National League East starter came up, and Harper described precisely how he thought the pitcher would approach. Eckstein nodded and said, “I think you’re right.”
“There are so many things that go through my head when I’m watching something,” Harper explained Friday. “I’m a little different. I sit there and think. I’ll watch it as a fan, but I’m a player, also. If everybody is looking cutter first pitch, and he’s throwing a get-me-over curveball 90 percent of the time, then you got to sit on that get-me-over curveball and crush it.”
“Yeah, I’m not even thinking about that,” he said. “This is a new series, a new day and I have a lot of respect for everybody in that other dugout. They have an All-Star team . . . guys who are All-Stars and who have been in this league for a long time. To come into this place and face Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels and all these guys . . . it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
“Definitely, coming in here and playing the Phillies who have been a great team and coming into a place that has a lot of history and a great organization,” Harper said. “You’re playing in a place where Mike Schmidt and guys like that played. It’s going to be a lot of fun in here. They have a great fan base and we’re going to come in here and try to prove some people wrong.
I watched this game last night in it’s entirety. The jeers got louder every time Harper came to the plate. And after he reached base a few times the camera panned in closely to him. You could see that clearly this is a guy who loves being hated, a culmination of every villain you’ve never wanted to see rolling through your big league city. That’s why when someone tweeted this, it got the old RT from me: