Popo in 9: Indians' screwup helps Reds' rally in 9th

Votto's double off right-hander dooms Indians
Posted at 11:17 AM, Jul 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-11 13:18:58-04

It’s Wednesday, July 11. You can call it a “hump” day, the Cincinnati Reds already got over a huge hump in Cleveland Tuesday.  More on that in a moment.

1.  It was on this date in 1976 that the longest game in All-Star baseball history was played. It went 15 innings at Anaheim Stadium. The Reds’ Tony Perez won the game with a home run off Catfish Hunter.

2.  It was a classic comeback by the Reds on Tuesday night in Cleveland. It was unexpected, in fact, unthinkable. The Reds scored seven times in the top of the ninth inning to beat the Tribe 7-4. The Reds scored six runs with two outs. The biggest hits belonged to Adam Duvall with a two run double, and Joey Votto with a three-run double. Votto’s hit came with great suspense. The bases were loaded with two outs and a 3-2 count. He shot a hard liner into a big gap in right center field. Everybody was running with the pitch and it cleared the bases.

3.  If you look up the term “gut-wrenching” in the dictionary, you’ll see pictures of my brothers and sisters, who are avid Cleveland fans. They’ve seen this Indians bullpen implode in the past and it happened big time last night.

4.  Reporters in the Indians’ clubhouse found out it was a communications error that led right-hander Dan Otero to pitch to Joey Votto in the ninth inning.  Terry Francona made the call to the bullpen, wanting left-hander Oliver Perez to pitch. Apparently, Terry said “Give me O-P” meaning Perez, but Carl Willis, the guy on the other end of the phone, thought he said “Give me O-T”, the nickname for Otero. That pretty well sums up the plight of the Indians bullpen. It was too bad for Cleveland, because it got a spectacular starting performance from Trevor Bauer. He shut out the Reds for eight innings, striking out 12 batters and allowing just three singles.

5.  If you’re keeping score, the Reds are 38-36 since Jim Riggleman took over for Bryan Price on April 19.

6.  The Pittsburgh Pirates lost to the Washington Nationals 5-1 Tuesday night, which means the Reds moved a step closer to fourth place. The Pirates are 12.5 games out of first place in the NL Central. The Reds are 14 games out. It might seem like a small thing, but it’s a major accomplishment for the Reds.

7.  There is one more game in the Battle of Ohio tonight. This is a very good pitching matchup with Tyler Mahle throwing against Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco.  Mahle hasn’t lost since May 20, going 4-0 in his last eight starts. Carrasco is 9-5.

8.  Also in baseball on Tuesday night, the Toronto Blue Jays knocked the Atlanta Braves out of first place with a 6-2 victory. The Philadelphia Phillies slipped into first place after beating the New York Mets.

9.  France has advanced to the World Cup finals with a 1-0 victory over Belgium.  England will play Croatia on Wednesday and the winner gets France in the finals.

What a spectacular night!  Like I’ve always said, sports is legitimate “Reality TV”. It was that way Tuesday night.

Give me a follow on Twitter @popo_wcposports.