OBSERVATIONS: Elly Continues To Elevate His Game

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave after watching my Kentucky Derby pick, Forever Young, imitate a hand grenade at the wire. . .so close, but the jockey couldn’t pull the pin.

—ELLY’S EAGLE EYE: There is no doubt in anybody’s mind, especially frustrated opposing catchers, that Elly De La Cruz will go on a long base-stealing streak without getting caught.

The record for most uncaught thefts is 50 straight by Vince Coleman in 1987. Right now, Milwaukee’s Brice Turang is 31 for 31 (14 for 14 this season).

While De La Cruz leads baseball so far this season with 19, he has been caught three times.

Speaaking of De La Cruz, BallySports statistician Joel Luckhaupt comes up with some gems and feeds them to broadcaster John Sadak.

And here’s one that displays the disciplined De La Cruz has become at home plate in a game against the Los Angeles Angels.

In the first inning he worked a 3-and-0 count and walked. In the fourth inning he worked a 3-and-0 count and walked. In the fifth inning he worked a 3-and-0 count and walked. In the seventh inning he worked a 3-and-0 count and walked.

What is more astonishing is that he was on base four times and didn’t steal a base.

Then there is taking that discipline too far. On Saturday against the Baltimore Orioles he came to bat in the ninth inning. . .Reds down, 2-0, runners on second and first with no outs. With the crowd chanting, “Elly, Elly, Elly,” he took a called strike three.

Hey, it was Star Wars Night in Great American Ball Park and don’t blame Elly for the loss, Even Luke Skywalker had problems.

—FORD DRIVEN AWAY: The Cincinnati Reds ran out a lineup Saturday against the Baltimore Orioles with these batting averages as the bottom five of the order: .190, .188, .183, .204 and .185.

Meanwhile, down on the farm at Class AAA Louisville, veteran outfield Mike Ford was hitting 297 with six homers and 15 RBI with a .381 on-base average over 91 at-bats.

Call him up to bolster a feeble offense, right? Nope, wrong. Release him. That’s what the Reds did.

—THE STARK TRUTH: Hall of Fame baseball writer Jayson Stark deals in the game’s bizarre and unusual happenings for The Athletic web-site.

An example: In back-to-back games against Milwaukee the New Yorkk Yankees scored 15 and 15 runs. On the third day they scored 0.

And here is one that never before happend in MLB. Never.

The Miami Marlins scored six runs in the first inning against Colorado and lost. The next day, the Marliins gave up five runs to Colorado in the first inning and won.

It is the only time that in back-to-back games that a team scored that many runs in the first and lost, then the next day gave up that many runs in the first and won.

Who keeps tabs on that kind of stuff?

—AN AB TO REMEMBER: It’s a game Dayton native and Alter HIgh School graduate Jeff Reboulet shall never forget — Game 4 of the American League Division Series between the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles.

And here is how Seattle manager Lou Piniella told it to me:

“I underestimated Baltimore manager Davey Johnson when I saw his lineup, which had .237 hitter Jeff Reboulet at second base and hitting second instead of future Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, who hit .333 during the season.”

And what happened?

“Reboulet shocked us by hitting a home run off Randy ‘The Big Unit’ Johnson in the first inning,” said Sweet Lou. “And the Orioles never trailed again in the game.”

—OUTFITS OR COSTUMES?: This is the ‘Get off my lawn’ segment of today’s Observations.

It’s about all these City Connect outfits, or costumes. They certainly aren’t baseball uniforms.

I still can’t read the r numbers and names on the Cincinnati Reds black City Connects, but maybe it’s my faiing eye-sight.

The worst ones yet were unveiled this week by the Tampa Bay Rays and they are true monstrosities. It is said that they glow in the dark. And the way the Rays have started the season, perhaps they should play in the dark.

—MILEAGE FROM MILEY: A reminder of a hilarious quote from fellow journalist/great friend Brian Giffin from one of my favorite places, Charleston, S.C., where starting in June he will host an ESPN/Charleston radio talk show.

In addition, Giffin is th sports radio voice of The Citadel, making him a hearty soul to endure endless defeats.

Anyway, here is the quote and it’s from former Cincinnati Reds manager Dave Miley during an 89-loss season. Near the end of the year, after the Reds were swept in a road series, Miley said, “I thought they were gonna stop us at the state line and make us play ‘em again.”

—YEAR OF THE CAIT: Was there any doubt that Caitlin Clark’s college game would transfer smoothly to the WNBA? Not here.

In her first game for the Indiana Fever, an exhibition game against the Dallas Wings, Clark was the game’s leading scorer with 21 points in 28 minutes in front of a packed College Park Center in Arlington TX.

She mixed in three rebounds, two assists and two steals in a 79-76 defeat. There is no doubt she will dominate the league and as Pete Rose once said about Brooks Robinson, “He (she) belongs in a higher league.”

During the 1970 World Series, Baltimore third baseman Brooks Robinson made some incredible plays, each one more incredible than the one before against the Cincinnati Reds. That prompted Pete Rose to say, “He can throw his glove down at thrird base and it’ll start ten double plays by itself.”

—NO STORAGE SPACE: Wise words from deadpan comedian Steven Wright: “You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?” He’s ‘Wright,’ you know.

—PLAYLIST NUMBER 49: And the beat goes on. . .and on and on with a short liist this time:

I Go Crazy (Paul Davis), Desperado (The Eagles), One Is The Loneliest Number (Three Dog Night), With Or Without You (U2), I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Whitney Houston), I’ve Had The Time Of My Life (Bill Medley & Jennifer Warren).


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