2013 is looking good so far. Despite injuries to their #1 starter, starting leftfielder and cleanup hitter and catcher, the Reds are thick in the race for the Division as Memorial Day awaits. Their MVP is a Boy Named Choo, Votto is hitting like Votto and Bruce looks like he is in the beginning of […]

December 15, 1900: The infamous Frank Robinson trade to the contrary, the Reds make the worst trade in franchise history when they deal future Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson to the New York Giants for end-of-the-line Hall of Fame pitcher Amos Rusie.

You can read it about it in more detail here. Suffice it to say, Rusie was 0-1 as a Red, making three appearances for them in his last games as a major leaguer. He won 246 games before joining the Reds (246-174, 3.07 ERA career). Mathewson won one game for the Reds, in 1916 after the Reds reacquired him to manage the team. Between 1900 and 1916, Mathewson won 372 games while with the Giants (373-188, 2.13 ERA career, 1-0 with the Reds).

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September 3, 1969: Jim Maloney hurls his 9th career two-hitter as the Reds beat the Cubs, 2-0. The loss cuts the Cubs lead over the eventual World Champion Miracle Mets to four games.

The Cubs had led the newly formed National League Eastern Division by as much as nine games as last as August 16 when they were 75-44, but would finish the season 17-26 and finish eight games behind the New York Mets.

The Reds’ only runs come on a fifth inning home run by Alex Johnson with Bobby Tolan on base. Tolan had led off the inning with a bunt single. The win kept the third place Reds 1 1/2 games behind the division leading San Francisco Giants and only a half-game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. The fourth place (and eventual division champion) Atlanta Braves were three games behind at the time.

The Reds would actually move back into first place within the week, moving a half game ahead of the Giants after sweeping the Giants in a doubleheader on September 8 by identical 5-4 scores. However, the lead was short-lived and Reds finished third in the division, four games behind the Braves.

For his career, Maloney hurls nine two-hitters, five one-hitters, and three no-hitters. During his career, Maloney’s best months were at the start of the season (April) and the end of the season (Sept-Oct). We’ve already mentioned him now for September 1st, 2nd, and 3rd for having standout performances on those dates. Splitting out the months, Maloney’s record for September was 28-19 with a 2.76 ERA, an opponents’ batting average of .194, and his highest K/rate by month at 8.8 (opponent OPS+ of 76). For April, he was 13-4 with a 2.19 ERA, an opponents’ batting average of .190, a K/rate of 7.6 (opponent OPS+ of 74). His worst month was June, when he was 23-19 with a 4.03 ERA, an opponents’ batting average of .244, and a K/rate of 7.5 (opponents OPS+ of 125). Overall for his career, Maloney was 134-84 with a 3.19 ERA with 30 career shutouts.

1969 was Alex Johnson’s last year with the Reds. After being acquired from the Cardinals for Dick Simpson (the failed outfield prospect from the Frank Robinson trade), Johnson twice contended for the National League batting crown. He finished fourth in 1968 with a .312 average (Pete Rose won with .335) and Johnson finished sixth in 1969 with .315 (Rose won again, this time with .348). Johnson won the 1970 American League batting title with a .329 after being traded to the California Angels along with Chico Ruiz for Jim McGlothlin, Pedro Borbon, and Vern Geishert.

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