September 5, 1973: For the second day in a row, the Reds explode in extra innings to beat the Houston Astros in Houston. The Reds use the three game series to move into first place in the Western Division, a lead they won’t relinquish for the rest of the season.

The Reds entered the three-game series with the Astros one game behind the division leading Los Angeles Dodgers. Having spent most of the season in third and fourth place, the Reds trailed by as many as 11 games as late as June 30. The Reds moved into a tie for first on the first day (September 3). While the Dodgers were losing 11-8 to the San Francisco Giants, the Reds scored two runs in the eighth inning on a Ken Griffey pinch single to beat the Astros, 4-3.

The Reds scored first on a second inning solo home run by Andy Kosco, but the Astros plated three runs in the fifth to take a 3-1 lead. The Reds got one run back in the sixth inning on a Pete Rose two-out single. The Reds won it in the eighth when Johnny Bench doubled with two outs. Kosco drew a walk, and Ed Armbrister, making his second consecutive start since his recall from AAA, reached on an infield single to load the bases. Ken Griffey, in his seventh game since his recall, then delivered a pinch two-run single giving the Reds their 4-3 lead and eventual margin of victory. Pedro Borbon pitched the final three innings of the game, surrendering no runs despite giving up six singles in those three innings. Former Astro Jack Billingham had started the game for the Reds and had pitched six innings, allowing three unearned runs.

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September 4, 1916: Reds manager and Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson makes his one and only appearance on the mound for the Reds and, ahem, “fires” a 15 hit-complete game to beat another Hall of Fame pitcher (and former Red) Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown and the Cubs, 10-8.

The win is an important one, for the Reds were in last place at the time and remained in sole possession of last place until the last day of the season when a 4-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates pulled them into a tie with the St. Louis Cardinals at 60-93, 33 1/2 games behind the first place Brooklyn Robins.

Mathewson was once property of the Reds, but for only a few days in November of 1900. Mathewson had joined the New York Giants in 1900 and went 0-3 with a 5.08 ERA in six games before being dispatched back to the minor leagues. The Reds drafted him from a minor league team in early November, but Reds owner John T. Brush traded him back to the Giants on November 15 for Hall of Fame pitcher Amos Rusie. Rusie had been one of baseball’s biggest pitching stars of the 1890’s, winning more than 20 games every season that he played from 1890-98 and winning more than 30 games in four straight seasons. He sat out 1899 and 1900 in a contract dispute with the Giants, but reported to the Reds after the trade. However, he only pitched three games with the Reds, going 0-1 with an 8.59 ERA in 22 innings and then he retired. Rusie’s final record was 234-163 with a 3.07 ERA. In five separate seasons, he led the major leagues in K/rate per nine innings, hitting a high of 6.01 in 1891.

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On May 19, 1999, the Reds partied like it was, well, partied like it was 1999, scoring 24 runs on 28 hits, including six homers in bashing the Colorado Rockies, 24-12. It probably would not surprise you to know that this game was played at Coors Field. Jeffrey Hammonds led the onslaught with three home […]

February 10, 2000: Ken Griffey, Jr., is traded by the Seattle Mariners to the Cincinnati Reds for Jake Meyer (minors), Mike Cameron, Antonio Perez and Brett Tomko. To add to the transaction above, please keep in mind that Greg Vaughn was granted free agency on October 28, 1999, and signed with the Tampa Bay Devil […]