Reds-Braves one for the books

After two good outings from their normally
undependable starting corps, something was about to
give for the Reds. On Monday, John Reidling pitched 6
2/3 innings of shutout ball to open the game. On
Tuesday, Jimmy Haynes pitched five innings and
surrendered only two runs. That the Reds bullpen blew
Reidling's lead in the first game and the team lost
the second game is beside the point. The fact is, Reds'
starters kept the team in the game on two consecutive
days. While neither start was the stuff of pitching
legend (Reidling had a game score of 66 and Haynes'
was 47), they were, by comparison to most Cincinnati
starts, stellar.

Such was not the case last night when poor Jeff Austin
allowed consecutive home runs to the first three
batters (Rafael Furcal, Mark Derosa and Gary
Sheffield) to open the first inning, a feat achieved
but once before in major league annals. Usually,
baseball players (and all athletes) look elsewhere for
the reasons for their failings. It's a defense
mechanism, of course and it is probably unfair to say
it only applies to athletes. Everyday people do it as
well. Let's just say it's human nature. Therefore, it
was especially refreshing/surprising to see this quote
Austin, who failed to get out of the first inning
for the second straight start: "My goodness, this team
is definitely better without me on it,'' Austin told
the Associated Press. "I'm surprised I've stayed here
this long.''

Man! Such candor! What would life be like if we were
all that honest in our self-assessments?