CINCINNATI - It's Thursday, August 16, 2012:
BOMBS AWAY: Scott Rolen got it going with a 380-foot home run to left field in the fourth inning. Todd Frazier then launched a 474-foot shot to center that FS Ohio's camera is still looking for. Jay Bruce boomed a moon shot in the sixth. The Reds beat the Mets 6-1, their fifth straight win.
KNUCKLING UNDER: Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey is one of the great stories of this baseball season, but as Joe Niekro, Phil Niekro, Tim Wakefield and Hoyt Willhelm would tell you, the knuckleball is very vulnerable when it doesn't dance. It didn't dance enough for Dickey Wednesday night.
GOING THE DISTANCE: Frazier's home run in the fourth inning was the tenth longest home run hit at GABP. Adam Dunn owns the longest shot at 535 feet from back in 2004. The only other home run over 500 feet was hit by Juan Francisco last season.
GOING THE DISTANCE PART II: Mike Leake had only one difficult inning as he pitched his second complete game of the season and won his fifth game. It's very encouraging for Leake to pitch this well, this deep into the season. He threw 111 pitches and 70 were strikes.
BLANKETY BLANK: The Reds streak of shutout innings ended at 28 when the Mets scored a run in the fourth inning. So the Reds shutout record of 31 innings remains intact from 1963. The streak included three straight complete game shutouts against the Houston Colt 45's. Thanks to Bill Lawrence for pointing out that those shutouts occurred when the Houston team was known as the Colt 45's.
THURSDAY NIGHT: Homer Bailey chases his 11th win against Mets rookie Matt Harvey.
THE LEAD DOG: While the Reds were winning, the Pirates lost. So the Reds lead the Bucs by a full seven games...same as the Cardinals.
AUDITION GAME #2: It's the Bengals at Atlanta tonight in the second game of the preseason. I would imagine we'll see a little added time for the regulars, as long as the injuries don't mount.
GETTING CUT ON CABLE: It was difficult watching Joe Philbin tell Chad Johnson that things weren't working out with the Dolphins on last night's edition of "Hard Knocks" on HBO. Chad knew it was coming, so he didn't try to plead his case very long. He apologized to Philbin and thanked him for the chance.
FINAL CHAPTER? Most of Chad's career has played out on television. He embraced the cameras when he was a Bengals player. He missed that in New England. It was obvious that he felt he had a future in reality tv, but I'm sure he didn't envision that he would be dismissed on national television.
DID I SAY THAT RIGHT? I don't like to get into politics but I hate these politicians making it look like they know the local landscape because they eat Skyline Chili. The president stopped by to pick up a sack. And yesterday, Paul Ryan said he ate Skyline when he was a Miami student. But it sure seemed like he had to look at Rob Portman to make sure he said "5-way" properly. This all has to be consultant-driven. If they had a debate in Cincinnati, I'd really be more interested in whether they've ever had a Zip burger, a minestrone at Pompilio's, or a side plate of goetta. Until then, it's all just a tired act. And my suggestion is that they try the Greek salad with chicken at Skyline. It's an underappreciated delight.
HEAVY HITTERS: Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Mardy Fish and Novak Djokovic all won their matches Wednesday at the Western and Southern Open.
THURSDAY'S CARD: Mardy Fish starts the action at 11a.m. on Thursday. Serena Williams plays immediately after Fish, then comes Roger Federer against Bernard Tomic. Djokovic meets Nikolay Davydenko in the spotlight match at 7p.m.
MAYBE SOMEDAY I'LL UNDERSTAND: A Little Caesar's Pizza recently opened on Route 50 near where I live. They immediately started to advertise five-dollar pizzas.There were cars lined up at the drive-thru. So the Domino's Pizza nearby started to counter with a comparable price. Pizza Hut advertised a special of ten dollars for any kind of pizza. Papa John's planted signs on the highway with their new deal. It's a great time to be a consumer. The pizza joints are competing, making the prices lower and the choices more plentiful. But at the same time, if you venture a half mile down Route 50, you'll run across a BP station advertising gas at 3.89. Speedway is at 3.89. Shell is at 3.89. Marathon is 3.89. There is no competition. I'm sure somebody will tell me it's all about supply and demand, but I'm not buying it. It seems like pizza places compete while gas stations collude.
Enjoy your Thursday....support your local pizza restaurant.
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