Man Bun Night at the ball park, people. Buckle up.

Tonight the Reds begin a four-game series against the Padres, and because I’m an idiot who doesn’t check her calendar or open emails or manage her life in any way approaching that of an adult, I’m your game thread hostess for all of them.

1. Zack Cozart (SS)
2. Billy Hamilton (CF)
3. Brandon Phillips (2B)
4. Jay Bruce (RF)
5. Adam Duvall (1B)
6. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
7. Jose Peraza (LF)
8. Ramon Cabrera (C)
9. John Lamb (P)
1. Travis Jankowski (CF)
2. Wil Myers (1B)
3. Matt Kemp (RF)
4. Yangervis Solarte (3B)
5. Melvin Upton Jr. (LF)
6. Derek Norris (C)
7. Alexei Ramirez (SS)
8. Adam Rosales (2B)
9. Christian Friedrich (P)


This season invites contemplation of the distance between reality and championship, a relationship which, we Cincinnatians have always comforted ourselves, is at least never as dysfunctional as that of our intrastate glaring partner, Cleveland. Since we can always depend upon Cleveland to screw things up, of course Cleveland managed to screw up losing by winning an NBA championship.

If Cleveland had to win something, I’ll take the NBA big silver disco ball, or whatever it is they get. Cincinnati does not have a directly competing franchise, and anyway I despise basketball, what with its uncalled travelling, squeakiness, and general group shoving.

But I had no choice to remain in the stream of up-to-the-millisecond updates on this year’s finals, as I have many friends from the upper half of the state, which means that for the past several days every single social media feed has been 100% exclamation points and crying. And I get it; I’ve long said that every little girl and little boy should experience at least one city championship shot.

In the case of Clevelanders, however, some of those championshipless little girls and boys are collecting Social Security, and, while their teams have climbed the mountain, they have never planted the flag. One of my firmest college memories is that of a dorm mate burrowed in a bean bag and several blankets, not-watching the Indians lose in the World Series while I wrote a paper and shouted discouragement.

This explains the case of Brad. Brad is in his 40’s. He’s smart, successful, and a great dad. He has a terrific singing voice. He pays his taxes and he’s the godfather of one of my own nephews. And the final buzzer on Sunday night saw him in the fetal position atop his coffee table.


Brad was raised in northern Ohio, and when he came to Miami University for college and nudged further south to Cincinnati for his career, he became that most tragic of all Cleveland figures: A Cleveland fan who doesn’t even enjoy the shared misery of other Cleveland fans. He stood with the Browns, and alone.


I would be the most soulless of creatures to not feel relief and happiness for Brad and his brethren who breathe the air of the Factory of Sadness decade in and decade out. Sleep well, Brad.

On the other hand, this has never been truer:


So chin up, Queen City! We’re mired in mediocrity, low expectations, and disappointment, but it’s diversified mediocrity, low expectations, and disappointment. Plus: STREETCAR.


John Lamb 4.75 47.1 30 1.52 No, poor guy
Christian Friedrich 3.15 40.0 34 1.50 100%




Football season’s coming.



51 Responses

  1. Mary Beth Ellis

    Mark Sheldon got the scoop on the breaking news that he is eating only crackers. I was disappointed, however, that we were not advised as to what kind. THESE ARE THE THINGS WE NEED TO KNOW, PRESS PEOPLE.

  2. Patrick Jeter

    I’ll be honest… my give-a-darn factor when Votto is out is severely reduced unless Peraza is playing or Cody Reed is pitching. Thankfully, one of those two things will be true today and tomorrow.

    • cfd3000

      Same. I’ll still watch Hamilton and Bruce at bats (and enjoy Hamilton turning a routine single to left into a little league RBI triple) but it’s not quite the same for me without Votto in the lineup.

  3. Patrick Jeter

    Game Thread Hostess has a nice ring to it.

  4. Mary Beth Ellis

    I should wear one of those dance hall costumes. The stockings will start to run right around the 6th inning.

  5. I-71_Exile

    Greeting from stormy Louisville! Cincinnati should be experiencing torrential downpours immediately after San Diego takes the lead in the top of the seventh.

  6. seat101

    My oldest son (14) has given up baseball for soccer and basketball.

    God hates me.

    • I-71_Exile

      I feel your pain. My son lasted through 16U AAU and then gave it up for video games and salty snacks.

  7. Mary Beth Ellis

    He can come to my figure skating lessons if you’d like an ice sport.

    • seat101

      my 12-year-old loves Skating, astronomy, and singing. His mom is part Swedish, I think that explains it.

      • Mary Beth Ellis

        Astronomy, skating and singing is an outstanding combo. I like all of those things and just look where it got me in life! Outstanding career opportunities.

  8. Indy RedMan

    Adam Rosales!! I really enjoyed watching him play until I realized that he has very little talent. He’s still in the bigs though and not stuck in AAA like most of the guys like him! Time for my boy Lamb to put together some consistency! I really like the way he was mixing up his stuff early vs Houston. He usually comes out just pumping fastballs.

  9. Steve Mancuso

    Good first inning for Lamb. All three balls in play were weak ground balls. One K.

    • preacherj

      I half way agree. We are a seriously who dey household.

      • Scott E. Disney

        At least we can both agree that we don’t like the Steelers.

  10. Indy RedMan

    Duvall oppo HR….ho-hum! I actually give Lamb some credit here for battling last inning and getting this guy out of his rhythm!

    • preacherj

      Yeah. It was a very solid at bat

  11. Shchi Cossack

    Cozart with a double. Hamilton with a double. Duvall with a HR (to RF). Suarez with 2 BB. Life is good at GABP tonight!

  12. preacherj

    That ball from Kemp looked foul. Didnt see a replay

  13. James Heath

    Someone get some number on Lamb pitching out of the wind-up. Announcers are focusing on the first batter of an inning but maybe his numbers out of the wind-up in general are skewed.

  14. Indy RedMan

    Flicked over to the Cubs for a second during a commercial and caught Lester’s weird phobia against throwing to bases again…lol That’s so weird!!

    Guy on 1st nobody out and a 1 hopper right back to him….doesn’t even look at 2nd base but just sprints to 1st base so he can underhand it to Rizzo instead of having to throw it overhand. That is some serious 9 yr old stuff? Cost him a run as the Fish got a 2 out hit to score the guy.

    • Indy RedMan

      Correction……guy got throw out trying to steal 3rd then Stanton homered but its still extremely strange how an elite top-15 pitcher in mlb can’t throw to a base?

  15. preacherj

    Lamb just loves the challenge of having the first batter reach base.

  16. Indy RedMan

    That kind of stinks! A little looper single knocks Lamb out of the game and I thought he got squeezed on the walk to Myers? They called Duvall out on an inside 3-2 pitch in his first atbat but Myers got the call on 2 closer pitches imo?

  17. Indy RedMan

    Which one of you stat gurus said GABP only pumps up the offensive numbers 2%? That ball wasn’t hit that well at all although its not the first time Ramirez got beat on hanging sliders when he throws 98-99 mph?

    • Steve Mancuso

      The “stat gurus” are just reporting what the “stats” say. GABP allows more home runs, but fewer doubles and triples. The park factor numbers aren’t theoretical, they’re based on what actually happens in a park. Over several years, GABP is fairly run neutral.

      • Indy RedMan

        All I know is that ball Norris hit wasn’t out of very many parks…..maybe 5 at most?

      • Steve Mancuso

        No doubt more home runs in GABP. That’s not all that’s involved in determining the park effect on scoring runs.

      • Indy RedMan

        I just looked the other night but we’ve hit something like 52 at home and 33 on the road in a pretty much equal amount of games. A lot of guys can’t run out a triple or score from 1st on a double unless there are 2 outs so I’ll trade 5 doubles for 3 homers usually. I know the Reds pitching is bad but have we ever had a starter with a sub 3 era in GABP besides Cueto? Its a launching pad!!

      • Steve Mancuso

        I think you’ll find that most teams hit more homers at home than on the road, whether they play in hitters parks or pitchers parks. You can throw around anecdotes and theoretical numbers all you want. The data of scoring actual runs in actual games shows GABP has a neutral park effect for hitters.

      • Indy RedMan

        This is interesting Steve….just looked up park factors on ESPN
        For GABP

        2006 = GABP best hitters park…only place to ever beat Colorado from that point on
        2007= 7th best for hitters
        2008= 7th
        09 = 18th
        10 = 12th
        11 = 8th
        12= 8th
        13 = 16th
        14 = 18th
        15 = 6th
        This year so far = 20th

        A little strange but that averages out to 11th best hitters park over 11 years

      • Indy RedMan

        That’s in the top 12 hitters parks 7 of 11 years

  18. preacherj

    Ramirez may be the most frustrating pitcher on this staff. His stuff is phenomenal. That pitch sequence to Rosales was tremendous.

  19. Jack

    For the 25th time this year the bullpen has been handed the lead and has blown it. I don’t know how they can even show their faces in the clubhouse. Mind blowing thst they are that bad.

    • Indy RedMan

      Lorenzen comes in…the crowd welcomes him back and maybe he Ks a guy or 2 and there is a little buzz from the crowd going into the bottom of the 9th. Lorenzen was already warming up after all? Instead they put Sweatin to the Oldiesdorf out there and salt the game away for SD? Typical Price

  20. Steve Mancuso

    Another game where the last two outs are made by hitters who are in the bottom 20% of the NL in run production. Made more likely by batting them #2 and #3 in the lineup.

    Batting order doesn’t matter much, but why give away the increment needlessly?

  21. Steve Mancuso

    Lorenzen probably had the “role” of “7th inning if the Reds have the lead” and that didn’t happen, so he sits on the bench again.