Last year, the Reds rolled into San Francisco and beat the Giants in the first 2 games of the playoffs. It looked like it was gonna be easy going for the Reds as they returned to the friendly confines of Great American Ball Park in need of only 1 win to advance to the next round. Unfortunately, the Giants had other plans and swept the Reds in 3 games, making them the first team in the history of baseball to ever come from behind 2 games and win 3 on the road. Reds fans wept and the Giants went on to win the World Series.
Flash ahead to this season. The Giants came rambling into town decidedly average with a 39-42 record and an offense on the skids. The Reds themselves were coming off a horrendous road trip and had only won 2 of 9 games. So…this set up what could have been a horrendous 4 game series between 2 teams. What we ended up getting though was a series of 4 games unlike any I have ever seen in my life.
Monday, July 1st
Bronson Arroyo took the mound and pitched 6 solid innings and pitched his first complete game of the season. The only thing is…it was only 6 innings. The total running time of the game was 2 hours and 12 minutes. But the TOTAL time of the game went almost 4 hours before the powers that be pulled the plug as the rains came in a torrential downpour unlike anything I have ever seen before. It rained so much that the lower bowl of the stadium was flooded with water, pouring into the dugout and the leaving the lower seats in the stadium floating in leftover food and beer cups. Reds officially win 8-1.
Tuesday, July 2nd
Homer Bailey pitched against Tim Lincecum, the Giants “ace.” Despite having an off year, Lincecum did well against the Reds in the playoffs, beating them in the 4th game in Cincinnati last year. Bailey, who had already pitched a no-hitter once in his career, pitched another one this night. He was unstoppable with his fastball and had a perfect game going into the 7th inning. Although he walked a batter to lead off that inning, Joey Votto threw out the runner at 3rd, preserving the no-hitter and Bailey shut the door the rest of the way. It was the first no-hitter that I have seen in my career and it was special seeing Bailey actually drop an F-bomb on the postgame show of our broadcast. But who can blame the guy though? He had just pitched his 2nd no-no in 2 seasons! Reds win 3-0!
Wednesday, July 3rd
After the previous night, the Reds HAD to have a let down…right? And with a rookie pitching it seemed predestined to be a long night. And that’s what it was. 4 hours and 35 minutes worth of baseball. Both teams emptied their benches, with there being only 1 pitcher remaining in each bullpen. After the excitement of the night before, this was a nightmare in futility. Eventually the Reds won on a game-winning single by centerfielder Shin-Soo Choo in the bottom of the 11th inning but not before 14 pitchers saw action in the debacle. This set up the Reds for a possible 4-game sweep on July 4th.
Thursday, July 4th
As I type this, we are already an hour into a rain delay. There appears to be no end in sight. The longest rain delay in baseball history is 7 hours and 23 minutes. We are praying that it doesn’t take us THAT long to get this game underway. Either way, whatever happens to end this series, this has definitely been one of the oddest series I’ve ever encountered in my 16 years of working baseball games here in Cincinnati.