Game 27: Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, OH
Oakland Athletics vs Cincinnati Reds – Wednesday, August 7, 2o13
The three of us spent all of Tuesday afternoon at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. It’s an awesome place. We started by watching a video called “Mystery Train,” that provided a historic perspective to the evolution of Rock and Roll music, and then browsed the extraordinary variety of memorabilia of some the most recognizable rock stars/groups that were displayed throughout the museum. We also toured the HOF and saw video clips of several induction ceremonies. The highlight, however, was a special exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones. Two entire floors were devoted to this iconic, ageless band.
Afterward, clearly not saturated yet by what we had just seen, we walked over to the Hard Rock Café in Tower City, had dinner there, and took more pictures of rock memorabilia on display. We then drove back to the Zinsers home, hung out with them and their neighbors (Don and Stephanie Hunsinger) for a while, and finally turned in for the night.
Early yesterday morning, the three of us were back on the road again, on our way to Cincinnati, OH. By the time we arrived at the ballpark and parked our car, it was about 30 minutes before game time. So, we quickly walked around and took pictures, bought a Reds cap and ball at the team store, and found our seats that were located just a few rows back from the right field line, about midway between the first base and the right field wall. It was overcast but warm and for a while it looked like we might have rain. Fortunately, the weather held.
The game was a cracker! Pitching for Oakland was former Indian Bartolo Colon who won a Cy Young with the Angels (2005) and is a three-time All Star (including this year). The Reds countered with Homer Bailey. Colon, a veteran who is now 40, entered the game with a 14-3 record, and is having a surprisingly great season as he attempts to revive his career. Bailey, on the other hand, came into the game with a 6-10 record. The baseball gods did not seem to care. Colon turned in a clunker and in the worst performance of his career, gave up five runs and could not get out of the third inning. He loaded the bases in the first with a hit-walk-hit sequence and nearly got out of the jam unscathed. But with one out, the A’s were unable to turn an inning-ending double play, and allowed a run to score when Jay Bruce grounded short for a force out. Still Colon, had limited the damage to just that one run. The A’s promptly responded in the top of the second when Josh Donaldson smacked a solo shot to right off Bailey to tie it up at 1-1. In the bottom of the frame, the Reds untied the score after Corky Miller hit an RBI double to right that scored Zack Cozart, who had singled earlier. Then came the meltdown for Colon in the third. Joey Votto got on base with a single and the next batter Bruce smashed a two-run shot to right to put the Reds up 4-2. The score became 5-2 when, just like the inning before, Cozart hit a single and came home on a Miller RBI double, this time to left. Colon walked the pitcher Bailey next and was lifted from the game. Who would’ve thunk? The score became 5-3 after the A’s got a run in the fourth. Stephen Vogt hit a single to right that scored Brandon Moss from third. On the play, Alberto Callaspo also tried to score, but was thrown out at the plate as he collided violently with the catcher Miller. Callaspo hurt his arm and had to leave the game. Miller was also hurt and would be eventually replaced by Devin Mesoroco. The two replacements would have an impact on the game. In the fifth, Mesoraco hit a sharp grounder to third that ate up Donaldson and scored Xavier Paul to give the Reds a 6-3 lead. The A’s, however, would not be subdued without a fight. They scored two in the sixth. Donaldson hit an RBI single to left to score Jed Lowrie from third. The bespectacled Eric Sogard followed with a two-out triple to right that scored Moss and Donaldson. The score was now 6-5 and the A’s still had only one out. Unfortunately for them, Sogard was erased after a run down following a Derek Norris grounder to short and the inning ended with Josh Reddick striking out. Aroldis Chapman, who gave up that walk-off homer in San Diego just a few days ago, came in to save the 6-5 win.
During the game, two of us (Luca and Das) walked around the stands and took plenty of pictures. The Reds have a wonderful ballpark that sits right by the river. Even though the attendance was not that great for this afternoon game, there was a decent crowd on hand to cheer the home team.
After the game, two of us (Luca and Das again) visited the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum. The Reds are the oldest professional team in baseball (founded in 1869) and have five World Series Championships (including the controversial 1919 win tainted by the Black Sox scandal). So they had a lot to show and tell. There was a video celebrating the team’s history and scores of memorabilia of Reds legends such as Joe “The Ol’ Left-hander” Nuxhall, Johnny Bench, Pete “Charlie Hustle” Rose, Sparky Anderson, and Joe Morgan, among others. Three of their most recent WS trophies (1975, 1976, and 1989) were also on display.
We retrieved the car from the parking lot and headed back to Janice and Jim’s place. By the time we got there, it was nearly 11 PM and we were exhausted. So we turned in for the night, as we had to get back on the road again in the morning.
We will see you from our next game soon. So long!