Saturday, April 09, 2005

6th Innings Dooms Reds

It can all come down to one inning, and last night the 6th did the Reds in. Executed correctly, they could have easily won that game.

In the top of the inning, Reds were down 3-2, but had first and third with no out, and Griffey, Casey and Kearns coming up. If something looks more like the start of a big inning, I'd like to know what it is. And its the last time--the last time--you want to run around giving up outs on the basepaths. Its fundamental baseball.

Sadly, we believe in this myth of the NL game--stealing bases, etc. And even trying to steal second would have been OK. But home?

Griffey struck out. We ran the double steal, and Astros executed perfectly, catching the throw to second short and firing it home to get Ryan Freel easily. So much for the threat, we still trail.

Then, in the bottom of the inning, its second and third with two outs. Matt Belisle is pitching. The Astros decide to leave Clemens in--essentially conceding the inning--rather than pinch hit. Gullett comes out to give Belisle some "advice." He goes 0-2 on Clemens, and then proceeds to nibble like a little against Clemens, a career .179 hitter with 10 RBI. Ever. So its 3-2, Belisle throws heat right over the plate, Clemens is a good enough athlete to get his bat on it, send it up the middle and drive home both runs. And its 5-2. Ball game.

I'm not complaining. We're 3-1. But one inning can cost you a game.

UPDATE: Heard on FSN tonight that Freel ran on his own, against orders. OK, fine. Even trying to steal second on a play like that is dumb, and it just makes Freel more dumb and Miley a little less. We still ran ourselves out of an inning.

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