Great win Saturday, but as we’ve mentioned before, the Reds fail to retaliate when it’s clearly called for. It’s not even so much that the Reds had four batters (well, Gomes twice by Kanekoa Texeira, and then Heisey and Janish by Dusty Hughes) hit by pitches in a game for the first time since 1965 (tying a franchise record for most Reds hit by pitches in one game). Because Hughes looked pretty wild and didn’t throw at Gomes (not that it’s cool that he hit the other two guys but tough to tell whether either was deliberate).
You just CAN’T allow the National League RBI leader and star of the game to get hit twice by the same reliever (the second looking VERY intentional) AFTER he clubs a pair of 3-run home runs in his first two at-bats without some type of response. Did Gomes flip his bat a little and watch his home runs (as he’s done before)? Sure. So what. Doesn’t mean you can plunk a guy who’s homered twice and avoid retaliation.
THANKFULLY Jeff Brantley pointed it out during the FSN broadcast on several occasions throughout the evening. Including the following dialogue with Thom Brennaman after Heisey got hit in the 7th by Hughes.
Jeff: Alright, now it’s getting old.
Thom: Well, you don’t think that one had any intent to it, do you?
Jeff: I don’t care if it had any intent at all. You brushed my guy once, then you hit him. He had two home runs. And now you’ve hit a third guy. Well, that bothers me.
Brantley later added, “If you’re in that locker room and you want to be Johnny’s (Gomes’) friend, I’ll tell you what to do.”
So obviously Brantley saw some or all of the HBP action as harshit. I’m certain that some of the Reds did as well but there was no retaliation Saturday and I’ll be curious to see whether there appears to be any Sunday, when the Reds face the Royals for the final time this season (and if we manage to reach the World Series, something tells me this isn’t the team we’re going to face). The question is … as long as Texeira doesn’t get an at-bat Sunday (he got an at-bat Saturday but unfortunately it was before he hit Gomes for the second time) … who is the top candidate for a fastball between the shoulder blades on Sunday? I’d guess maybe David DeJesus or Billy Butler. Don’t wish them any harm, just looked at their lineup for star players. And I don’t think I’d mess with Kendall or Jose Guillen. Because wouldn’t you say something kind of ought to happen?
By the way, what about the tremendous restraint Gomes showed by not charging Texeira when he plunked him the second time! Because I’d guess he thought about it. I wanted him to … did you? Then again, do we want to be without the services of the league-leader in RBIs for the better part of a week?