Three Things: Big Soccer Game Tonight, Terrible Baseball Game Last Night.

posted by Mo Egger, ESPN1530 - 

Every day there are three things, here are those three things.

1) Big game = news vans. You know a big sporting event is going to be played when the local TV stations have reporters posted up at the game's site 14 hours beforehand.

There they were this morning, general assignment reporters doing live stand-ups in front of an empty stadium in the dark at 6am.

Needless to say, there won't be early-morning reports from GABP next week.

This will be fun tonight, and also pretty intriguing. There's streak of 510 straight minutes in US Open Cup play without giving up a goal. How long can FC Cincinnati extend it?

Can they not only win against an MLS side for the third time during this run, but for a second time without Djiby? (Also, when you see the name "Djiby," does having only five letters remaining in a game of Scrabble come to mind?)

Was Saturday's sluggishness against Louisville an aberration, an indication that maybe FCC was looking ahead a little, or a byproduct of a team that's maybe a little emotionally winded?

Can the home team slow down an opposing attack that's scored 17 goals in its last five matches?

How much fun will I be having in the greater Clifton area around 10:30 if the orange and blue continues to defy the odds, advancing to the US Open Cup final?

I don't know the answers to these questions.  Neither did those good-looking TV people who were standing by live at Nippert this morning.

2) No pity in the Windy City.  The Reds were hammered last night in Chicago by the Cubs, 15-5.

The game wasn't that close.

Lots of stuff happened, little of it good.

Devin Mesoraco broke his foot after being hit on it by a pitch.  Assuming he's headed to the disabled list, and figuring that there's a good possibility that he could be done for 2017, Devin will finish up this season having played in a whopping 95 out of a possible 486 games over the past three season (less than 20% for those of you who, like me, attended public school in Kentucky), and piling up a meager six home runs and a paltry .191/.292/.314 slash line. 

His absence and accompanying lack of production is not Devin's fault, of course.  And while it's frustrating to wonder how things could've played out had he not been as beaten up as he's been, it's been equally painful to watch and listen to Devin express his own frustration over not being able to help the team.

That said, his inability to help has been devastating.

When the Reds signed him to his current contract after he All-Star season of 2014, Devin was trending toward not only being one of the best catchers in baseball, but one of they cornerstones to the rebuild, one of the few established players they wouldn't be trading, and in many respects one of the faces of the franchise.

Would the Reds have been markedly better over these past three seasons had Devin been healthy? Probably not, but teams in the situation the Reds are in can't afford to get little on return for heavy investments.  Mesoraco's annuall salary might not have compared to Homer Bailey's, but he's still made more than $14 million to play in those 95 games, and the Reds have gotten next to nothing for that money.

And given how slowly the young pitching has developed, you can't help but wonder how much some of those guys would've benefited from having Devin Mesoraco to throw to.

*Joe Maddon got cute.  First, there was his wacky bunt defense that had Anthony Rizzo essentially playing second base, even going as far as donning a smaller second baseman's glove.

And then, he deployed this defense with Joey Votto at the plate.

For what it's worth, Chicago's four-outfielder defense didn't prevent Votto from hitting a double.  

ESPN's Sam Miller took a deep dive into Maddon's strategy, which is says is a sign of MLB's future. It's worth a read. 

Also, Scooter Gennett pitched, becoming the first player in big league history to hit four homers in a game and pitch in the same season.  

My biggest question is why it took Bryan Price so long to call upon non-pitcher to pitch?

3) Outcry over wet bases are a thing now? Outcry over wet bases are a thing now.

Radio Show: We're talking FC Cincinnati today. And Bengals. And a Bengals trade question. And Devin Mesoraco.  A couple of good soccer guests are on deck, Tony Pike and James Rapien from Paul Brown Stadium, and we have ESPN college football analyst Anthony Becht. Join us at 3:05 on ESPN1530. 

Recommended Link Of The Day:  Q&A: NFLPA President Eric Winston On Work Stoppages, Colin Kaepernick, And "The NFL Police"

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Mo Egger

Mo Egger

Mo Egger delivers his unique take on sports on Cincinnati's ESPN 1530! Read more

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