Every spring, even the most cynical fans allow for fleeting moments of optimism. After all, projections are based on past performance, and there’s always the possibility of multiple players having breakout seasons and carrying their teams to unexpected postseason glory. It happens nearly every year – prior to last season, for example, Baseball Prospectus guesstimated […]

Thank God for Tony Cingrani. The lefthanded rookie hurler kept the Redlegs from getting swept out of Washington, DC with a true gem this past Sunday. Six innings of work, no runs, 11 strikeouts and a win. And this didn’t come against the Marlins or Cubs, either. Reds and lefthanded pitchers who are successful don’t […]

November 21, 1870: The Cincinnati Red Stockings were no more. On this date, the Cincinnati Base Ball Club announced it would only use amateur players for the 1871 season. From “Redleg Journal” by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder:

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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.

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September 22, 1903: “Turkey Mike” Donlin ties a major league record by tripling in four consecutive at bats during a doubleheader split with the Philadelphia Phillies in Cincinnati.

Donlin’s first triple came in the last at bat of a first game 12-7 Reds loss and then he tripled in his first three at bats of the second game Reds 8-1 victory. For the afternoon, Donlin had six hits in seven at bats. For the season, Donlin’s only full season in Cincinnati, Donlin batted .351 with 25 doubles, 18 triples, 7 homers, and 67 rbi, a .420 OBP, and a .936 OPS (155 OPS+). He was second in the league in OPS, triples, home runs, and runs created. He may be one of the best Reds’ talents you’ve never heard of and a piece of one of the greatest collections of Reds outfield talent in Reds history.

Donlin was quite the character. The Reds signed him as a free agent in 1902 while he was in jail for assaulting an actress. When he was released, he finished the 1902 season by playing in 34 games and hitting .287. He was one of baseball’s best players in 1903, and was hitting a robust .356 in 1904 when the Reds traded him to the New York Giants. His OPS+ at the time of his trade was 162, so he was producing. However, Donlin was also an actor and would frequently take leaves of absence during his baseball career to pursue his other craft. Over 12 major league seasons, Donlin batted .333 with an OPS+ of 144, but he played only 1049 games (averaging about 85 per year) during his career.

The 1903 Reds finished in fourth place in the National League with a record of 74-65, 16 games behind the first place Pittsburgh Pirates. Center fielder Cy Seymour was a hitting machine for the Reds, batting .342 with 25 doubles, 15 triples, seven homers (OPS+ of 134) and third baseman Harry Steinfeldt had his best season as a Red, batting .312 and leading the league with 32 doubles (OPS+ of 136). Hall of Fame first baseman Jake Beckley had another good season in his last year with the Reds, batting .327 with an OPS+ of 126. In seven seasons with the Reds, Beckley batted .325 with 251 extra base hits, 530 rbi, and an OPS+ of 128. Hall of Fame manager-outfielder Joe Kelley also played well, batting .316 with a .402 OBP (OPS+ of 124) playing a utility role in 105 games for the Reds.

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June 19, 1994: The Reds explode for 20 hits for the second consecutive day against the Atlanta Braves to claim first place in the National League Central Division. Included in those 20 hits were four first inning homers off Braves star John Smoltz, who sets a National League record for most total bases allowed in […]

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle…. FINAL Cincinnati 9 Pittsburgh 0 WP: Cueto (2-1) LP: Morton (1-6) BOX SCORE POSITIVES –Wow. Just…wow. Johnny Cueto pitched the most dominating game of his major league career, a one-hitter. Cueto struck out 8, walked none, and faced one batter over the minimum in his first career complete game shutout. […]

Last week, my children (7 y/o daughter, 5 y/o son) saw my old Strat-O-Matic Baseball game box up on a shelf in a closet. They pestered me until I agreed to show them how to play. (My daughter had received some “girly edition” of Monopoly and she just learned to play, so board games seem […]

July 21, 1995: Deion Sanders traded by the Cincinnati Reds with David McCarty, Ricky Pickett, John Roper and Scott Service to the San Francisco Giants for Dave Burba, Darren Lewis and Mark Portugal.

July 31, 1995: Traded a player to be named later, Dave Tuttle (minors) and C.J. Nitkowski to the Detroit Tigers. Received David Wells. The Cincinnati Reds sent Mark Lewis (November 16, 1995) to the Detroit Tigers to complete the trade.

The Reds had finished the strike-shortened 1994 with the best record in the Central Division, 66-48, one half game ahead of the Astros. The Reds led the league scoring with 5.30 runs per game, and their pitching staff was third in fewest runs scored, allowing 3.78 runs per game…that’s almost a 1 1/2 run per game differential. The Reds were leading the way in 1995, too, with a 6 1/2 game lead over the Astros on July 21st.

The Reds had taken the lead through a strong offense; they finished second in scoring this season behind the Colorado Rockies, but their pitching was allowing about a half run more than the year before. Continue reading

Time for a recap of tonight’s titanic struggle…. FINAL Houston 0 Cincinnati 3 WP: Volquez (3-2) LP: Paulino (0-2) S: Cordero (7) BOX SCORE POSITIVES –By far the best start of the year for Edinson Volquez. Eight innings, no runs, 1 hit, 6 Ks, and just one BB. Volquez threw just 106 pitches, and it […]