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The Reds have cornered the market on pitchers who rake

In Sunday’s Say Hey, Baseball, we look at pitchers who rake, futuristic uniforms, and we celebrate Bobby Bonilla Day.

Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

It’s been quite a week for Reds pitcher Michael Lorenzen.

On Saturday, when the Reds were facing the Brewers, Lorenzen stepped into the box and delivered the death blow of the game. With the bases loaded, he slammed a home run to right field, putting a dagger in the game and giving the Reds a 10-3 lead. Lorenzen’s grand slam capped off an eight-run seventh inning. When the seventh began, they were losing 3-2. When it was over, well, so was the game. The crowd even demanded a Lorenzen curtain call.

The video of Lorenzen hitting that homer is pretty wonderful. How he managed to serenely sprint around the bases instead of do cartwheels the whole way is beyond me. The crowd at Great American Ballpark wasn’t huge, but they demanded a curtain call from their pinch-hitting pitcher, and he was thrilled to oblige.

That grand slam on Saturday wasn’t the first time Lorenzen had homered that week. It wasn’t even the second! It was the third home run Lorenzen clubbed in seven days. Last Sunday, he sent one deep in the final game of a three-game sweep against the Cubs. Five days later, his home run scored one of just two runs the Reds would get in a loss to the Brewers. And then the grand slam on Sunday. That’s three homers in three straight at-bats. Jim Riggleman may be on to something in Cincinnati.

Lorezen’s grand slam was his third homer of the week, and it was the second grand slam hit by a Reds pitcher in the same amount of time. Anthony DeSclafani hit one when the Reds annihilated the Cubs last Saturday. How often do you get to talk about multiple pitchers HITTING grand slams instead of giving them up?

The Reds are still in last place, 13.5 games behind the Brewers. The absolute highest they’ll finish is fourth, if they manage to over take the sinking Pirates. (It’s not impossible, just 4.5 games separate the Reds and Pirates.) But this is why baseball is so wonderful: there are even reasons to watch a rebuilding, last place team. Thank you, National League rules, for keeping baseball interesting.