It’s a fun question to ponder, but settling on an answer was harder than I expected. I’ve never witnessed a no-hitter or perfect game, never seen someone homer four times or collect hit #4,192, and never experienced division-clinching walk-off heroics. After mentally rewinding through three decades of fandom (and taking a quick glance through some […]

I was happy to see Steve recently reference Norm Charlton’s contributions as a starter during Cincinnati’s 1990 World Championship season. Twenty-seven years later, most Reds fans remember Charlton as a Nasty Boy, a hard-throwing setup man (and occasional Mike Scioscia bulldozer) who set the stage commendably for his fellow Nasties Rob Dibble and Randy Myers. […]

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 […]

Let’s start with the Nasty Boys. While famous for their amazing name, Randy Myers, Rob Dibble and Norm Charlton are generally regarded as the core of a great bullpen. As such, one might expect them to serve as a model for how to deploy a relief corps. However, as I was gazing longingly at their […]

Aroldis Chapman recorded the 100th save of his major league career last night – a milestone that divides Reds fans into Team Celebrate and Team Lament. Putting aside the controversies about how the organization has used Chapman, it’s a fitting moment to recognize that the 26-year-old is in the midst of an unprecedented, historic season. […]

An interesting point raised by commenter Myles: 1990, Charlton, Norm: Didn’t start his first game until July 15th. Pitched a complete game shutout on August 10th. Finished the year with 154 IP. Why can’t Chapman start this year? An additional 70 innings from Chapman adds some wins. Obviously, Aroldis Chapman is twice as talented as […]

November 17, 1933: The Reds trade Red Lucas, one of the best pitchers and pinch hitters in Reds history, along with reserve outfielder Wally Roettger, to the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Adam Comorosky and infielder Tony Piet.

Lucas was a Reds Hall of Famer who’s probably not as well known today because he played on some truly rotten Reds baseball teams. He was probably the “Mario Soto” of his day, being one of the best pitchers in the league on one of baseball’s worst teams. However, there were two huge differences in Soto’s and Lucas’s perfomrances. Soto was a strikeout pitcher who struck out as a many as 274 in a season (258 innings). Lucas “pitched to contact,” never striking out more than 72 in a season (270 innings). Soto walked 3.4 batters/nine innings for his career, Lucas walked 1.6/nine innings. Another difference was that Lucas was an exceptional hitter with a lifetime batting average of .281 (85 OPS+) with 190 rbi in 16 seasons. Soto’s career batting average was .132 (-12 OPS+) with 24 rbi in 12 seasons.

Lucas’s win-loss percentage regularly exceeded his team’s performance. As a Red, Lucas was 109-99, a .524 won-loss percentage from 1926-33. The Reds during these eight years posted a .441 winning percentage. Lucas’s best season was 1929 when he went 19-12 with a 3.60 ERA (127 ERA+) and led the league with 28 complete games and a 1.204 WHIP. He finished sixth in MVP voting, finishing second amongst pitchers (there was no Cy Young Award at the time), as he was second in games won and fifth in ERA. For his career, Lucas was 157-135 with a 3.72 ERA (107 ERA+). As a hitter, Lucas batted .300 for the Reds with a .735 OPS (97 OPS+). As a pinch hitter, Lucas was 114 for 437, a .261 batting average.

Lucas didn’t walk away quietly from the Reds. He played five seasons for the Pirates, going 47-32 with a 3.77 ERA. Against the Reds, he was a whopping 14-0 during those five seasons and 33-32 against the rest of the league. As for the other principals in the deal, Roettger played 47 games with the Pirates and was done. Comorosky played two seasons for the Reds, one as a starter, batting .256 with two homers (71 OPS+). Piet became the Reds starting third baseman for 1934 and hit .259 with one homer (75 OPS+) before being sold to the Chicago White Sox.

November 17, 1992: The Reds trade all-star closer Norm Charlton to the Seattle Mariners for former MVP outfielder Kevin Mitchell.

Charlton was part of the Reds 1990 “Nasty Boys” bullpen and had become a co-closer with Rob Dibble in 1992. Charlton was selected to the 1992 all-star team and finished the season 4-2 with a 2.99 ERA and 26 saves. Coupled with Dibble’s 3-5, 3.07 ERA and 25 saves, the Reds had quite a combination out of the bullpen. With both relievers expected to make about $2.5 million in salary for 1993, the Reds decided to stick with Dibble and deal the lefty Charlton to the Mariners for one of baseball’s most feared sluggers at the time, Kevin Mitchell.

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October 17, 1976: Tony Perez singled home Ken Griffey with the winning run as the Cincinnati Reds won the second game of the 1976 World Series, 4-3, in Cincinnati. The World Series win gave the Reds victories in the first two games of the Series. The Reds scored first in the game when they scored […]

October 8, 1904: Rookie second baseman Miller Huggins strokes three triples in an 8-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis. The Reds’ win enabled them to sweep a doubleheader as they won the first game, 6-0.

The Reds were second in the league in 1904 with 92 triples, 10 behind Pittsburgh’s 102. Cy Seymour and Joe Kelley both tied for third in the league with 13 triples. Rookie Huggins finished with seven. For the season, Huggins batted .263 with a .377 OBP (OPS+ 110). Over six seasons with the Reds, Huggins batted .260 with a .362 OBP. He played 13 major league seasons, but is most famous for managing the New York Yankees to their first six World Series titles.

The 1904 Reds finished the season 88-65, in third place, 18 games behind the New York Giants. Seymour was their most effective hitter, batting .313 with 26 doubles and 13 triples (134 OPS+), while manager-1b Kelley batted .281 with 21 doubles and 13 triples (OPS+ 121). The Reds’ asset was their pitching, for they had six starting pitchers with ERA+ of 112 or higher. The Reds were third in the league with an ERA of 2.34. Jack Harper was 23-9 with a 2.30 ERA; Noodles Hahn was 16-18 with a 2.06 ERA; and Tom Walker was 15-8 with a 2.24 ERA. Win Kellum was 15-10 with a 2.60 ERA.

October 8, 1919: The Chicago White Sox get a complete game victory from Ed Cicotte and two run singles from both Shoeless Joe Jackson and Happy Felsch as they pull within four games to three by defeating the Reds, 4-1, in the seventh game of the World Series. The major principals for the White Sox were all later said to have been in on the Black Sox fix for the Series. Dolf Luque pitched four innings on one-hit shutout baseball in relief for the Reds.

October 8, 1939: The Yankees score three times in the tenth inning to sweep the 1939 World Series from the Reds. The Reds made four errors in the final game of the 1939 Series, and included the play noted for “Lombardi’s Snooze.”

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October 4, 1902: The Pittsburgh Pirates set a new major league record with 103 wins as they defeat a disinterested Cincinnati Reds team, 11-2, in Pittsburgh. Rain had dampened the grounds in Pittsburgh and the Reds did not want to play, but the Pirates insisted on playing the game to have a chance at playing the record. The Reds played many players out of position in protest of playing the game.

Pitchers were first baseman Jake Beckley and star outfielders Mike Donlin and Cy Seymour. Seymour and player-manager Joe Kelley were reported to have been smoking cigarettes in the game. The catcher was pitcher Rube Vickers who set a modern major league record (still standing) of six passed balls in one game.

October 4, 1919 Jimmy Ring fires a three-hitter as the Reds take a 3-1 World Series lead over the Chicago White Sox with a 2-0 victory.

Both Reds runs came in the fifth inning when they took advantage of two errors by White Sox starting pitcher Eddie Cicotte. With one out, Reds outfielder Pat Duncan reached second base when Cicotte threw wildly to first base after fielding Duncan’s ground ball. Larry Kopf then singled to left to score Duncan and was safe at second base when Cicotte dropped a throw at second base as Kopf was trying to stretch the single into a double. Greasy Neale then doubled to left field to score Kopf and provide the last run of the game.

Ring walked three and struck out three, while Cicotte allowed five hits and walked no one.

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August 3: A few short stories from a day of offensive explosions…

1989: The Reds erupt to score 14 runs on 16 hits in the first inning in defeating the Houston Astros, 18-2, at Riverfront Stadium. The 14 runs in one inning tied a team record set in 1893. The team set a major league record by having seven players get two hits and six players scored twice in the inning. Seven players had three hits in the game which tied another major league record.

The first seven Reds of the game reached base off Astro starter Jack Clancy before the Astros called on Bob Forsch with the bases loaded and no one out. A three-run homer by Ken Griffey was the big blast of the inning off Clancy. Ron Oester greeted Forsch with a double before Forsch retired pitcher Tom Browning on a groundball for the first out of the inning. The Reds then batted around again with every Red getting either a single or a double off Forsch before two flyballs finally ended the inning with the Reds leading 14-0. The bases were loaded as the final two outs were recorded. Rolando Roomes and Jeff Reed both homered in the seventh to add some insurance runs as Browning went the distance at pitcher to earn the victory. Roomes, Reed, and Todd Benzinger all had four hits in the game and Griffey had four rbi. Luis Quinones, Eric Davis, Griffey, and Oester all had three hits contributing to record of seven players with three or more hits in the game.

1994: Kevin Mitchell had possibly his best game as a Red as he goes 5-5 with a home run, two doubles, and five rbi as the Reds blitz Dusty Baker’s Giants, 17-4, at Candlestick Park.

Jacob Brumfield and Bret Boone opened the game for the Reds with back-to-back home runs off Giants starter, Bud Black. Barry Larkin reached on an error and Mitchell followed a two-run homer to give the Reds a quick, 4-0, lead before any outs were recorded. Later in the game, Mitchell had a run-scoring double in the second inning, a double in the fourth, a single in the fifth, and a two-run single in the sixth. Mitchell’s performance raised his batting average to .328 and his OPS to 1.116 on the year. Brian Hunter and Jeff Branson also homered in the game. Boone had four hits, and Hunter and Tony Fernandez each had three hits. John Roper was the winning pitcher for the Reds.

Mitchell was simply outstanding in 1994. Due to the player-strike shortened season, the Reds only played 114 games with Mitchell playing 95 of them. In those 95 games, Kevin Mitchell batted .326 with 30 homers, 77 rbi, a .429 OBP, .681 SLP, an OPS of 1.110, and an OPS+ of 185. The .681 slugging percentage set a Reds single season record, breaking Ted Kluszewski’s .642 in 1954. In Mitchell’s first season with the Reds (1993), Mitchell batted .341 (.986 OPS) with 19 home runs in 93 games.

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[table id=16 /] Time for a recap of tonight’s titanic Strat-O-Matic Dream struggle…. Final 1975 Reds 7 1990 Reds 4 WP: Gary Nolan (1-0) LP: Tom Browning (0-1) S: Rawley Eastwick (1) PLAY BY PLAY Thoughts –The 1975 Reds came out swinging in the first inning, putting up five runs against a shell-shocked Tom Browning. […]