Robert Stevenson Doesn’t Lead Reds to Treasure Island; Instead, Runs Ship Aground in 17th

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Hi all.  Here’s how I see baseball on this Saturday, May 13.

It has to be an unfortunate coincidence that the Reds have a relief pitcher named Robert Stevenson.

It’s doubtful pitcher Robert William_ Stevenson has heard of, (much less read) the book “Treasure Island,” written by Robert Louis Stevenson almost two centuries ago. But such is his fate. The only thing more guaranteed to bring out references to that old classic novel of piracy on the high seas would be if Stevenson gave up a game to the Pirates.   Stevenson didn’t lead the good ship “Cincinnati Reds” to Treasure Island last night.  He ran them aground by throwing an ill-fated pitch to the Giants’ Buster Posey.  The Giants’ catcher slammed it high wide and handsome into the San Francisco night to end a 17-inning battle by a 3-2 final score. The Giants were on their last  possible relief pitcher-Cory Gearrin-when Posey ended the 5-hour battle early this morning. Stevenson is a pitcher who threw 2 no-hitters in high school and was a Reds’ first-round draft choice in 2011.  His 7+ ERA shows that most MLB hitters (Kevin Plawecki excepted) don’t compare with high school hitters.

The Giants’ Denard Span began the game with a home run on Friday night. Until Posey’s mammoth home run in the 17th The Reds had kept the Giants from scoring since the 5th inning and nobody had been in scoring position since the 9th. The Reds for their part didn’t score after the second inning. The Giants’  Johnny Cueto went 8 innings against his former employers. The Reds’ Scott Feldman lasted 7 innings after holding the Giants scoreless in a matchup 8 days ago. Only one game has gone longer in San Francisco since their current ballpark was built.  The D-Backs beat the Giants 1-0 in 18 innings back in 2001. Neither team will have many fresh horses from the bull pen if their starters do poorly today-and neither starter has much of a resume for 2017.  The Reds turn to Lisalverto Bonilla who has made one relief appearance back in April. He hasn’t started a game in the majors in 3 years, and that was with the Rangers.   The Giants go with Matt Moore who has a 1–4 record and an ERA beyond 6. For the Giants, only Brian Morris and the winner Gearrin went more than 2 innings which would leave them unavailable for today’s relatively early game at 4 PM Eastern.

To the hard-core baseball fans, a tense 3-2 17-inning game is a chess match.  Then there’s the other kind of game, which by coincidence was also played west of the Great Divide.  The Angels’ AAA team, the Salt Lake Bees scored 3 runs each in the 7th and 8th innings, erasing a 10-5 deficit and beating the Iowa Cubs 13-11 in Salt Lake City. The Cubs put up 2 each in the first 3 innings, 1 in the 4th and 3 more in the 5th to build their biggest lead at 10-5. But the last two pitchers for the Bees, Greg Mahle (MayLee) and Brooks Pounders were the only two not to get pounded.  Mahle whose kid brother Tyler threw a perfecto last month for the AA Reds got the win, and Pounders the save. Greg Mahle played his college ball at Cal. Santa Barbara, the alma mater of sports talk show Jim Rome who is proud of all Gauchos who make it in the pro game. Like a NASCAR race the teams traded leads early on with Iowa putting up 2 to start and the Bees striking back with 3 in the last of the first. So it went until the Cubs built their 5-run lead. Mahle pitched a scoreless 8th and Pounders a quiet 9th for the save. It wasn’t the kind of home-run-happy game the Pacific Coast League is known for.   All 3 home runs were hit in a losing cause by the Cubs. For the Bees, the AAA Angels, former big leaguer Eric Young JR. had 2 doubles and scored 3 runs while C.J. Cron (on rehab) put up 2 hits. Another former big leaguer, catcher Carlos Perez put up 3 safeties for the winners.

It’s not even 9 AM as I write this but the Yankees’ game against the Astros has already been called off.  They will play an old-fashioned single-admission Sunday doubleheader at 2 PM tomorrow. The Red Sox’ game in Boston against the Rays is in jeopardy as the same weather system that covers the New York area is a menace to the Boston area as well.  If they play, Chris Sale is scheduled to go, giving the Fenway Faithful a treat. The Mariners and Jays will certainly play at 1 PM, as the Toronto stadium has a roof. In a 4 PM start in St. Louis, the Cubs send John Lester against the Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez who has gotten it together and won his last two starts.  If St. Louis is to rebound from their awful start he will be a key piece of the puzzle. The Phillies and Nationals were rained out last night and are at risk for tonight’s game. While Miami promises a more favorable climate, the Braves and Marlins don’t guarantee a good game. The Mets, a team in turmoil turn to Robert Gsellman against the Brewers in Milwaukee.  Last night Matt Harvey gave up 3 home runs, possibly the worst being a blast by Hernan Perez.  Perez hit a career .061 before the Brewers got him and will never be confused with Tony Perez of Big Red Machine fame. The Mets were down 6-2 when Harvey finally left the hill in the 6th and ended up with yet another loss, 7-4.

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