With an 8:00 game tonight, I thought some of you might want a place to chat during this fine Sunday, plus I had a couple of things that didn’t merit their own posts, so I decided to throw it all together here.
It’s Time to Plan for October
The Reds are now 8 games [...]
The “save” didn’t become an official statistic in baseball until 1969, although it had been tracked for years. The definition of a save itself was defined in 1960 by Chicago sportswriter Jerome Holtzman but it has been redefined, examined and criticized since. (The first official “save” went to Bill Singer on Opening Day 1969, [...]
October 20, 1972: Pete Rose hit the first pitch of the game for a home run and the Reds later overcame a 4-2 deficit in defeating the Oakland A’s, 5-4, to stay avoid elimination in the 1972 World Series. The Reds now trailed the A’s three-games-to-two through five games.
Rose’s first inning homer gave [...]
October 18, 1972: After a one-day rain delay, Reds pitchers Jack Billingham and Clay Carroll combine on a three-hitter as the Reds defeat the Oakland A’s, 1-0, in Oakland. The win cut the A’s World Series lead to two games to one.
The Reds only mustered four hits themselves off A’s pitchers Blue Moon [...]
October 14, 1952: The Reds trade outfielder Cal Abrams, catcher Joe Rossi, and first baseman Gail Henley to the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Gus Bell. Bell becomes a four-time all-star and one of the favorite players in Reds history.
October 14, 1968: During the National League’s second expansion draft of the 1960′s, the Reds lose six players. The Montreal Expos select centerfielder Mack Jones, lefty pitcher Dan McGinn, and infielder Jimy Williams, while the San Diego Padres select lefty pitchers Billy McCool and Fred Katawczik, and catcher Fred Kendall.
Only Jones, McCool, and McGinn played on the 1968 Reds. Jones was the team’s fourth outfielder, and a good one, who batted .252 with 10 homers (124 OPS+). McCool was still only 23-years-old, but had begun losing effectiveness (3-4, 4.97), and McGinn was a 24-year-old lefty prospect. Kendall later became a regular Padres catcher in the early 1970′s, Williams never made it back to the majors (except as a manager), and Katawczik never made the majors.
October 14, 1970: The Reds hold on for one more day as they win the fourth game of the 1970 World Series, 6-5, in Baltimore. Lee May provided the winning runs with a three-run eighth inning home run.
The Reds had scored single runs in the second, third, and fifth innings. Dave Concepcion drove home May with a second inning triple, May scored Bobby Tolan on a third inning single, and Pete Rose homered off Jim Palmer in the fifth inning for the Reds’ first three runs. However, the Orioles had reached Reds starter Gary Nolan for a Brooks Robinson second inning solo home run, and for three runs in the third on run-scoring singles by Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson with Elrod Hendricks singling home the third run off Reds reliever Don Gullett in the same frame. The Orioles made it 5-3 in the sixth when Brooks Robinson singled with one out and scored all the way from first base when Hendricks singled to right field and scored on Pete Rose’s errant throw to third base. Rose had earlier gunned down Brooks Robinson at the plate to prevent a run in the third.
Continue reading This Day in Reds History: Armbrister Bunts and Tenace Homers
October 11, 1968: The Reds trade popular centerfielder Vada Pinson to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Bobby Tolan and reliever Wayne Granger.
October 11, 1970: The Reds lose Game 2 of the 1970 World Series to the Baltimore Orioles by a score of 6-5, blowing an early lead for the second consecutive day. The Orioles now lead the World Series, two games to none.
The Reds scored three times in the bottom of the first inning off Orioles pitcher Mike Cuellar to take the lead. Pete Rose reached on shortstop Mark Belanger’s error, but was forced out at second base by Bobby Tolan. Tony Perez singled to centerfield with Tolan stopping at second base. Tolan moved to third on a Johnny Bench flyout. Lee May then doubled to centerfield, scoring both Tolan and Perez and with May advancing to third base on an error by Orioles centerfielder Paul Blair. May scored on a Hal McRae squeeze bunt to give the Reds a 3-0 lead. Tolan made it 4-0 in the third with a solo home run.
The Orioles got one run back in the fourth on a Boog Powell home run and then erupted for five runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-4 lead. With one out, three straight singles from pinch hitter Chico Salmon, Don Buford, and Blair scored Salmon and chased Reds starting pitcher Jim McGlothlin. Powell greeted Reds rookie pitcher Milt Wilcox with another single, scoring Buford and making the score 4-3. Frank Robinson flied to right, but Brooks Robinson singled home Blair and then an Elrod Hendricks double scored both Powell and Brooks Robinson, giving the Orioles a 6-4 advantage. Clay Carroll relieved Wilcox on the mound and then he and Don Gullett pitched 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. The Reds added one more run in the sixth inning on a Johnny Bench home run.
October 11, 1972: The Reds come from being down two games to one to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3. The Reds score two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs to win the game and the National League Championship Series.
Continue reading This Day in Reds History: George Scores and Reggie K’s
October 9, 1876: The first National League Cincinnati Reds team finished the worst season in Reds history with an 11-0 lost to the Hartford Dark Blues. The Reds, or Porkopolitans as they were sometimes called, went 9-56, a .138 won-loss percentage, and finished 42 1/2 games behind the first place Chicago White Stockings.
The first Reds team had a genuine superstar, Charley Jones, who batted .286 with a .724 OPS (154 OPS+) and was second in the league with four home runs. Those were the only home runs the Reds hit all season. Jones was the only Red to have a slugging percentage over .279. Over the next decade, Jones became one of baseball’s best known and very best players with several teams signing him to contracts, but that’s another story. The Reds most common pitcher (carefully chose the word “common”) was Dory Dean who finished the season 4-26 with a 3.73 ERA (ERA+ 59). He led the team in games pitched and innings pitched despite missing the first two months of the season. His .133 winning percentage is the worst ever by a one-year pitcher with a minimum of 20 decisions.
At least the Reds finished the season. The New York Mutuals and the Philadelphia Athletics quit the season with two weeks to go and found their teams expelled from the National League. The nation’s two largest cities did not have major league baseball teams for at least the next five seasons. Philadelphia did not get another major league baseball team until 1882 when the American Association granted them a franchise. The National League granted a franchise to Philadelphia in 1883 in response to the AA move. The National League and American Association both granted New York franchises for the 1883 league seasons.
October 9, 1898: The Reds’ Dusty Miller collects eight hits in a Reds doubleheader with the Cleveland Spiders. The Reds won the first game, 12-5, but the second game resulted a 6-6 tie with the game called after seven innings due to darkness.
In the first game, Miller was 5-5 with five singles against Hall of Famer Cy Young. In the second game, he had a single, a double, and a triple. For the season, Miller batted .299 and led the Reds with 99 runs scored and 90 rbi. Miller played seven major league seasons, five with the Reds. His best Reds season was 1895, when he batted .335 with 10 homers, 112 rbi, 103 runs scored, 31 doubles, 16 triples and an .888 OPS (124 OPS+). The best hitter for the 1898 Reds was Mike Smith, a former 34-game winning pitcher for the Red Stockings in 1887. Smith batted .342 with an .858 OPS (139 OPS+).
Continue reading This Day in Reds History: The Reds Win their 1st World Series; Tragedy Strikes; Two Great Manager Decisions; and Rose’s Revenge