By Hal McCoy
CINCINNATI — In honor of the 1976 Big Red Machine, honored before Friday night’s game on its 40-year anniversary, the 2016 Reds wore throwback uniforms against the San Diego Padres.
They worry the pullover jerseys with red stripes around the sleeves and belt-less elastic-topped pants.
There was a problem, though. Most of the players wore their pants pajama-style, no sock showing, and they wore different colored shoes with manufacturer’s logos shouting, “Look at me.”
When club president Bob Howsam and manager Sparky Anderson ran The Big Red Machine, all shoes had to be black and the logos shoe-polished into oblivion and all baseball pants had to have stirruped socks showing.
AND LET’S NOT EVEN go into the fact that the 1976 Reds were not permitted so much as a pencil-thin mustache, let along the shaggy-dog beards most players are bearing these days.
The impersonators turned out to be impostors on this night. The 1976 Reds hardly ever lost to the Padres and in mid-July of 1976 they swept a five-game series against the Padres.
The 2016 Reds were used and abused by the ’16 Padres for the second straight night, losing, 13-4, after losing Thursday by 7-4.
It was not a good coming-out party for left handed pitcher Cody Reed, making his home debut. The Padres scored a run in each of the five innings Reed pitched — including a home run to the second batter he faced, Will Myers, and he balked home a run. All told Reed gave up five runs, nine hits, walked two and struck out six, needing 104 pitches to get through five innings.
THE PADRES SCORED RUNS in each of the first eight innings and the incredible streak of Reds relief pitchers giving up home run to the first batter they face continues. Raisel Iglesias replaced Reed in the sixth and former Reds infielder Adam Rosales greeted him with a home run. That’s the 17th time this season a Reds relief pitcher has given up a home run to the first batter he has faced.
Michael Lorenzen, on the disabled list since spring training, made his 2016 debut in the seventh inning and gave up a double and a two-run home run to Melvin Upton Jr. that made it 8-4.
J.J. Hoover tossed flammable fluids on the fire in the eighth by giving up five runs on a bases loaded three-run double by Myers, giving him five RBI, and a two-run home run by Upton for his second homer of the game and four RBI to push it to 13-4.
Before the game, before Reed’s second major-league start, Reds manager Bryan Price talked eloquently about the left hander recently called up from Class AAA Louisville.
“You don’t come into spring training and pitch as the best pitcher in camp of our whole group if you don’t have a certain sense of self-confidence,” Price said of Reed. “You’re trying to compete and trying to make the team and that’s pressure. He understands how to handle it and compartmentalizes it. It is a great opportunity and I don’t think he puts things on his shoulders the burdens of things he can’t control. He just goes out there and pitches. He’s terrific, a very developed young guy.”
The Padres didn’t believe it on this night and took the young phenom to task, unimpressed by those 1976—style uniforms.