When you lose 13 of your last 14, expectations are low. When Michael Taylor, a toothpick of a centerfielder, takes you yard twice in an 18-3 blowout prompting the classic “is this guy actually good or is this opposing them just this bad?” article, expectations get even lower. When you have nothing left to lose (your dignity took its leave after the 8th or 9th loss) and your (probable) All-Star shortstop is sitting injured on the bench and you have to city hop from Washington D.C. to St. Louis back to Cincinnati over the course of three days, expectations are so low that a 6-4 win starts to resemble flying pig levels of unattainable.
But a 6-2 win?
Better call Scooter.
—Scooter Gennett started his day with a healthy bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios and a cold glass of milk. Once finished, he decided he was still hungry and devoured two pieces of toast, three eggs sunny side up, four pieces of bacon, and another bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. He washed it all down with a second glass of cold milk. Once at the ballpark, Scooter prepared for the game, going through his usual stretches and warm ups. Adoring fans watched at rapt attention. Even a Nationals fan had the folk hero sign their baby.
The rest of his day was mundane. A bloop single in the first brought back memories of his historic four home run game—
—so he hit a solo jack in the second just to show he’s still got the juice. (He took a knee in the process, acknowledging that no one man is better than the game of baseball even if everyone else is telling him so.)
Following that effort, Scooter decided to show off his fielding prowess, ripping a perfect cut off throw from just behind first to the plate, nailing the runner by a good four feet. Bryce Harper didn’t get an RBI because of that throw. Scooter then hit singles in his next two at bats, finishing his day 4 for 5 and leaving the park with a quiet rumbling in his stomach, a satisfaction with his conquests over Bryce Harper, and a desire for a third glass of milk.
—Not quite the folk hero as his Sco-prefix counterpart, Scott Feldman also had himself quite the day. In fact, by WPA standards, Scott Feldman did more for this Reds’ team than did Scooter (0.14 WPA to Scooters 0.13). Feldman’s blasphemy stemmed from a 7.0 inning, two-run outing, with five strikeouts and only one Michael Taylor home run allowed. Personally, I thought Feldman was done after the third inning when Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy threatened on the corners, but Feldman persevered and proved me, and the trend of Reds’ pitchers, wrong.
—Billy Hamilton started the Reds five-run, bat-around-the-lineup first inning, so he deserves a mention here. Billy hit a double. He didn’t hit anything else until the ninth inning when his legs got him an infield single. Something about Billy bookending a whole lot of nothing with power and speed just feels right.
—Tucker Barnhart hit a scorching double just off the tip of Bryce Harper’s glove to bring in the final two runs in that first inning rout, so he also gets a mention. Anytime Bryce Harper is made to look silly is worth a mention in my book.
—The Reds have still lost 13 of 15, but at least that number isn’t 14 of 15.
Not So Random Thoughts
—Tomorrow is Brandon Finnegan Starts for the Fourth Time This Season Day, a holiday usually celebrated in April but this year moved to June for unforeseen circumstances. I shall hopefully be celebrating the joyous occasion in the unfriendly confines of Busch Stadium.
—Joe Blanton pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless baseball today for the Nationals. Maybe the Reds should’ve traded Joey Votto for him back in the day. That’s a full out past a single inning.
—Raisel Iglesias pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless baseball so maybe the Reds are better off as is. Definitely up for debate.