OBSERVATIONS: Bad Moon Rising Is Over For the Cincinnati Reds

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from the St. Simons Island beach house, far away from the travails of the Cincinnati Reds. . .and did they really lose two straight games by one run to the Arizona Diamondbacks?

—TEMPORARY RESTRAING ORDER?: The mammoth silverback gorilla is off their backs and back in its cage. . .and not the batting cage. The black cat walked behind them instead of in front of them. They ran the bases instead of walking under a ladder.

Yes, the Cincinnati Reds won a baseball, their first of the month on the tenth of the month, a 4-2 win in San Francisco while most of us were sleeping.

The eight-game losing streak is over, but it has been bad. How bad has it been for the Reds while losing eight straight after a 0-6 homestand against Baltimore and Arizona?

Bad, bad, bad and more bad.

The Athletic web-site counted many of the ways and they are uglier than a gorilla’s face.

During an 0-6 homestand, the Reds scored 11 runs, the same total that Baltimore scored against them in one game.

They batted .172 and mustered 32 hits — six a game for the mathematically challenged.

They batted .225 with runner in scoring position and the main problem was even getting runners to second and third base.

For the six games, they led in a game only once, and briefly. During the last game of the homestand they led 1-0 in the second inning and Arizona tied it in the next half inning.

They scored only three runs against the six opposing starting pitchers.

And perhaps worst of all, they wasted their own good starts by their pitchers, a 3.19 earned run average.

And what’s next? Probably the same as what Clubber Lang said in a Rocky movie when asked what fans could expect for his fight against Rocky Balboa: “Pain.”

The Reds are on a 10-day west coast trip, three in San Francisco, three in Arizona and four in Los Angeles against the Dodgers (ouch!).

Maybe the Reds should have watched the movie ‘Major Leaguer’ on the flight west and listened to manager Lou Brown’s speech:

“OK, if we win a game tomorrow and win a game the next day, that’s two in a row. And if we win again it’s callled a winning streak. It has happened before.”

OK, they’ve won that first game so they are only two more wins against the 17-23 Giatns in Oracle Park they have themsleves a Lou Brown winning streak.

—ONLY PETE: When Pete Rose signed his first professional contract and played in Geneva, N.Y., it won’t surprise you to learn that he set a record.

The record, though, is more than surprising. In 77 games, he made 36 errors.

As we all know, he more than overcame that inauspicious start and once said about the Niekro pitching brothers.

“I got 77 hits off Phil Niekro and 34 hits off JOe Niekro. That’s 111 hits off one family, 1/40th of my career t0tal (4,256). Can you imagine how many hits I could’ve gotten if Mrs. Niekro had five sons?”

—IS WINNING IMPORTANT?: One of the most famous sentences ever written by a sports writer was when Grantland Rice penned, “. . .It’s not that you won or lost but how you played the game.”

But I subscribe to what former University of Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp said in rebuttal, “If it’s not important who won or lost, why do we have scoreboards?”

—HOOPS AND PUCKS: It will be an extra-special Mother’s Day for Houston’s Tonja Stelly. Will she be in Indianpolis for the New York Knicks NBA playoff game at the Indiana Pacers? Or will she be in Edmonton
for the Vancouver Canucks NHL playoff game?

She travels all over North America to watch the Knicks and Canucks. Why? She is the only mother to have sons playing both in the NBA and NHL. Her sons (with different fathers) are Quentin Grimes of the Knicks and Tyler Myers of the Canucks.

—A FEATHERY FEAST: Our group vacatlioning on St. Simons Island dined this week at Delaney’s and I partook of something I never dreamed I would eat.

The waiter promised it tasted better than filet mignon and if it didn’t he would pay for it. He was right. It was ostrich steak. It was great. . .until I got the bill. Then I had this strange feeling that I should go stick my head in the sand.

—QUOTES AND BILLY GOATS: Baseball quotes from all over the place:

From movie star Humphrey Bogart: “A hot dog at a baseball game beats roast beef at the Ritz.” (And even better than a steak at the Oakland Club.)

From writer George Will: “Baseball, it is said, in only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona.” (And the Pacific Ocean is only a puddle.)

From former maverick baseball owner Bill Veeck: “There are only two seasons, winter and baseball.” (C’mon, Bill. There is winter baseball, too.)

From Hall of Fame slugger Mickey Mante: “Somebody once asked me if I ever went up to the plate trying to hit a home run and I said, ‘Sure, every time.’” (And it worked 536 times for The Mick. . .and that’s not counting 18 home runs in World Series games.)

From St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado: “You always feel more comfortable when you score runs early.” (Hey, Nolie, can you e-mail that message ℅ the Cincinnati Reds? Thank you.)

—PLAYLIST NUMBER 51: Still fining great songs:

Reflections Of My Life (Marmalade), Heat Of The Moment (Asia), Play That Song (Train), Fight Song (Rachel Platten), Still Loving You (Scorpions), Still The Same (Bob Seger), Midnight Special (Credence Clearwater Revival).

Almost Over You (Sheena Easton), Just My Imagination (The Temptations), Maggie Mae (Rod Stewart), Ramblin’ Man (The Allman Brothers), Rocky Mountain High (John Denver), Say You, Say Me (Lionel Richie), It Never Rains In Southern California (Albert Hammond), Sugar, Sugar (The Archies).

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