Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It takes a Red to beat the Reds

The rooters of Great American Ball Park sounded off with thunderous applause during the first inning of what was sure to be a magnificent display of powerful offense and show stopping defense. The boisterous rumblings could be felt within a fifty mile radius of the Reds home field. Three runs later the unbeatable home team took the defensive side of the field in the top of the second, within minutes the electric that once carried throughout the park was completely eradicated as if there was a master switch to this Red machine. Almost as if a rapture happened, but not for the righteous, rather for fans, with alcoholic brews sloshing in one hand and nachos in the other. The Reds hurler Mike Leake allowed the south of the border priests to erase the Reds 3-0 lead, and then a little bit more…The emotional rollercoaster ride didn’t end in the second; after Leake was relieved after only 1 2/3 innings, Reds hurler Alfredo Simon couldn’t get a breaking ball in for a called strike, or at least that’s how the plate umpire Chad Fairchild was seeing it. Enough was enough for rookie catcher Devin Mesoraco who couldn’t bite his tongue any longer. After another Simon pitch, right on the outside corner, the exasperated catcher turned to Fairchild and reportedly asked “how many strikes you gonna miss?” The question itself was not the defining moment in what seemed to be a standard ribbing of a plate umpire. However, during the increasingly fierce argument at the plate, Mesoraco appears to brush his finger against Fairchild, which didn’t seem to be intentional, rather Mesoraco was talking a lot with his hands, and to say the least, he was doing a lot of talking. Mesoraco was ejected from the game for touching Fairchild and it’s expected that he will face a suspension. The fore mentioned drama came just after the top of the second inning, when Leake had the bases load, in the midst of the epic meltdown, during a play at the plate, Mesoraco delivered a massive blow to a charging Maybin, he was unable to secure the ball but stood his ground as the derailed Maybin, though safe, staggered off the field. Simon continued to pitch, and continued to miss his mark with the breaking pitches. The Reds fans erupted in boos for each ball called, and rejoiced in every strike. The overzealous rooting wasn’t for the struggling Alfredo Simon, rather in the ability for the plate umpire to distinguish between a ball and a strike.The game carried on in such fashion, the Reds began building what looked like a promising rally but couldn’t materialize the run support. The Reds did chip away at the lead, Jay Bruce crushes a solo shot to right field, his 21st of the year, which came in the 3rd inning reducing the score to 9-4 Padres. Later in the 5th , the NL co-player of the week singled up the middle, stole a bag and was drove in by a Scott Rolen RBI single, by then the score was 10-5 in the Padres favor. Before the night was over, the Reds faced every player they had traded to Padres in an awkward streak-ending defeat. In front of over 21,000 Reds fans, returning former Reds Brad Boxberger, Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, and Edinson Volquez all secured an 11-5 win over the now 61-41 Cincinnati Reds. Reflecting now on the game, I think I can comfortably say I am glad it ended this way; no division rival showdown, no high stakes wild card berth, no nail bitting down-to-the-wire slugfest. The Reds 10 game winning streak came to a halt in a game that was against itself. Half of the Padres lineup contained the former Redlegs and prospects, so in so many ways we can just say; it took the Reds to beat the Reds.

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