Tough Luck at GABP...Soon to Clear Up

This is a post about my first trip down to Great American Ball Park this season – our annual Mother’s Day excursion – to see last Sunday’s titanic struggle with the 1st place Cardinals, but as I type the Cincinnati Reds are currently in a three-way tie for the top spot and gaining momentum with every series (they just swept the lousy Diamondbacks if you aren’t following along). Forever the Red’s optimist, I’d have to say this “winning” should probably stick if we keep the right guys on the field. And talking about an epic loss seems trivial now……

Still, Sunday’s 10 inning, 4 hour, 8-7 loss was some of the most complete baseball I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness. Dusty Baker and Tony LaRussa were locked in a human chess match the entire game – pulling double-switches and surprise moves throughout, never giving into the other’s advantages. So they say the Reds can’t hit, this weekend has silenced the naysayers to a degree. The team hit five HRs in this game alone. And one came off the bat of pitcher Micah Owings, in the bottom of the 9th, with a 3-2 count, to tie it all up. I could play armchair manager and bitch about Jerry Hairston Jr.’s inability to lay down a routine bunt or Dusty’s decision to put in Danny Herrera and Chris Dickerson even when the team was still hot, but I won’t (or I just did). Oh well. It’s over.

They lost, and I left the ballpark happy and satisfied. For one, this showed that this Reds team can battle with the best, blow for blow. No sweep, but winning the series against your divisional nemesis (and only giving Puhols one HR) is none two shabby. This is a hungry team and despite my wishes for some kind of trade-up/shake-up, messing with the chemistry might throw things off course.

In addition, I’m pleased to announce I’ve turned my Brazilian sister-in-law into a Reds fanatic. We enjoyed the game from the best seats in GABP in which I’ve sat. The new Elliott section is 135, right in line with the opposing team’s bullpen path and within earshot of any shmuck who gets the pleasure of hearing my drunken taunts. The park continues to get more fan-friendly every year, though that scoreboard needs some zen auditing (much too crowded).

And….continuing to be my favorite Red, despite a slow start…..

Brandon Phillips signed autographs from about the end of BP to the exact start of the game. Stand-up guy.

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