Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Heisey Effect

The Heisenberg Effect states that the "very act of becoming a player changes the game being played". Of course this is in scientific terms. The Heisey Effect states, no shows, that when Chris Heisey hits three home runs in one game the Cincinnati Reds earn a split of a day-night doubleheader with the New York Yankees.

Heisey's heroics helped ruin the second big league start of Brian Gordon and made a rare trainwreck out of Hector Noesi's performance. The Reds 10-2 win avoided a sweep at the hands of the Yankees, who had won the second game of the series earlier in the day, 4-2.

Heisey entered the game with just five home runs on the season, but didn't wait long to hit number six, depositing Gordon's delivery into the left field seats to start the bottom of the 1st inning. Nick Swisher tied the game in the 2nd with an opposite field blast that was just one of the two hits allowed by Johnny Cueto (5-2, 1.63) over seven innings.

Jonny Gomes quickly put the Reds back ahead in the home half of the 2nd with his 9th home runs of the season. In Gordon's fifth and final inning Heisey extended the lead to 4-1 with a 2-run shot. Gordon, whose path to the Majors as a converted outfielder has been well documented, got to bat in a big league game for the first time. He drew a walk in his first appearance, but struck out in his only other at-bat.

Gordon wasn't the only one who had trouble though, as the Yankees managed just four hits on the night, two of them by Alex Rodriguez. Their one chance to get back in the ball game came in the 7th when they were still down three. Rodriguez led off with a single and Swisher followed with a walk. Cueto struck out Russell Martin, but then gave the Yankees a break when he dropped Joey Votto's toss on a Robinson Cano grounder to load the bases.

Cano had pinch-hit for Eduardo Nunez, meaning the Yankees had to let Ramiro Pena bat for himself. The light hitter lightly hit a grounder to Votto, who threw home for the force out. Jorge Posada then pinch-hit for the pitcher's spot, but unlike his heroics earlier in the day, grounded out to end the inning.

The Reds then took Noesi apart with three runs in both the 7th and 8th innings, the latter of which featured Heisey's third blast of the day.

The first game of the day was much different with Freddy Garcia tossing a fairly effortless seven innings to improve to 6-6. With the game tied 2-2 in the 6th, Cano reached on a lead off single against starter Mike Leake and Posada followed with his first home run since April 23, a stretch of 126 at-bats. David Robertson worked the 8th before giving way to Mariano Rivera who picked up his 19th save.

The Yankees had broken a scoreless tie in the 3rd when Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson stroked back to back one out singles and Swisher provided an RBI ground out. Cano followed with a single for 2-0 lead.

The Reds tied the game up with the help of rare sloppy defensive play from Pena, who was playing third base in the first game. Drew Stubbs reached on a Pena throwing error to start the 5th (Had Mark Teixeira been playing first base instead of Jorge Posada, it's likely the ball would not have been out of reach.) Edgar Renteria then singled to put runners on the corners with no one out. What followed was both a physical and mental error by Pena.

Ryan Hanigan hit a chopper to third that likely was not hit hard enough to turn a double play, but Pena should have gotten the sure out at second. Instead he threw a one hopper home that catcher Francisco Cervelli couldn't handle for Pena's second error of the inning. (He would later pick up a third error when a ball when right between his legs.) Leake sacrificed the runners over and Fred Lewis brought in Renteria with the tying run on a deep play to Granderson in center. Garcia wild pitched Hanigan to third, but got Brandon Phillips to fly out to end the inning.


The Yankees bad baserunning continued in game one. Eduardo Nunez doubled, but was picked off second and was eventually charged with a caught stealing as he attempted to take third.

Prior to the games, the Yankees placed Jeff Marquez on the DL with a sore shoulder and called up Buddy Carlyle.

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