Tag Archives: home run

Exit Sandman

Baseball has afforded me the opportunity to watch many of it’s finest moments.  I will always remember watching Hank Aaron hit #714 and # 715 to tie and then break Babe Ruth’s home run record.  I will never forget seeing base hit #4192 land in the left-centerfield and watching as a tearful Pete Rose embraced his son at first base.  And who could forget Kirk Gibson limping around the bases after hitting the most remarkable home run of his career?

In spite of the steroids, scandals, and suspensions, this has been a wonderful generation of baseball filled with epic moments.  Last night, Major League Baseball added another chapter to it’s storybook of touching moments.  Mariano Rivera pitched for the final time in Yankee Stadium.  With 652 career saves, Number 42 came  into the game in the 8th inning and did what a Hall of Fame closer does.  He got batters out.

Rivera pitched in the 9th inning as well, but after recording two outs the Yankees made a pitching change that we never be forgotten.  Instead of manager Joe Girardi coming to the mound to pull Rivera, he sent long time teammates, Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter to the hill.  When Pettitte took the ball from Rivera the two embraced and the flood of emotion that has been building in Rivera all season finally began to pour out.  In a rare display of raw human emotion, Mariano Rivera sobbed as he clung to his teammates in front of a roaring Yankee Stadium crowd who cheered for and wept with the “Sandman.”

As I watched yet another wonderful baseball memory being made I couldn’t help but think that this is what sports are all about.  This is the kind of story that I want my kids and grandkids to see.  I’m so tired of PED’s, DUI’s, and 50 game suspensions grabbing the highlights and headlines.  I want my kids and grandkids to have the baseball that I had as a kid.  I called my wife into the room and she and I, along with our son, watched this endearing moment unfold on television.  “Thank You” Mo, and “Thank You” baseball for showing us again just what makes you great.

Reds Rally Late to Beat Bucs

Last night the Reds lit up the Pirates for four unanswered runs in the 9th and 10th innings to complete their first come-from-behind victory, when trailing after 8 innings, since June 19th.  With one out in the 9th inning, Ryan Ludwick got the rally started by hitting a single to right field.  After Todd Frazier reached base on a Jordy Mercer error the wheels began to fall off for the Pirates.  Billy Hamilton came in later in the inning to pinch run for Zach Cozart and promptly stole his 10th base in 10 attempts on the season.  Hamilton has become a serious game changer for the Reds since arriving in early September.  Devon Mesoraco then drove in two runs after battling through a tough at-bat to tie the game at 5 runs apiece.

After tying the game in the 9th, the Reds, Joey Votto, hit a solo home run into the left field seats in the 10th.  Joey Votto and Dusty Baker both expressed surprise that the ball went out of the park.  “I didn’t think it was going to be a home run or fair.  I was stunned,” said Votto afterwards.

This was a huge come-from-behind win against a tough Pittsburgh team as both teams are battling for the playoffs.  The win allowed the Reds to pull even with the Pirates in a tie for second place in the National League Central Division, two games behind the division leading Cardinals.  At 88-66, both Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are tied for the first wild card spot as well.  The Reds were 2-54 in games in which they trailed after 8 innings this season.  The last such come-from-behind win was also against the Pirates on June 19th when they won 2-1.

The Reds can increase their momentum and take sole possession of second place with a win over the Pirates to night.  Homer Bailey will take the mound for the Reds against A.J. Burnett for the Pirates at PNC Park.

Mike Buckamneer