McCoy: Reds keep losing ‘dog fights’ to Padres

Winker perplexed by team’s struggles vs. San Diego

The San Diego Padres continue to be the ogre in the baseball dreams of the Cincinnati Reds.

And what is so frustrating to the Reds is that other than one of their five straight losses to the Padres they were within an arm’s reach of victories in the other four games.

There is no doubt the Padres are well-armed on the pitching rubber and dangerous in the batter’s box.

But five straight losses to the Padres when they began play Wednesday night in Great American Ball Park is a shake-your-head mystery to the Reds.

The Padres blew away the Reds in one game, 8-2. The other losses were 6-4, 7-5 in 12 innings, 3-2 and 5-4.

Jesse Winker is perplexed because he believes the Reds stack up man-to-man with the Padres.

“That was another really good game,” Winker said Tuesday night after a 5-4 loss. Winker clubbed a two-run home run that drew the Reds within one run, but they could score no more.

“Every time we play these guys, it’s a really, really good game. It’s a dog fight. That’s a tough lineup over there. They can really hit.

“That’s baseball, man,” Winker added. “I like our odds against anybody coming up in the ninth down only one run. That’s a really good team and we seem to play well against them and we just can’t get that lucky bounce to take us over the hump against them.”

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To a man, the Reds are appreciative of the fan support and Winker calls them, “The best fans in baseball, I’ve said that from the start. It’s truly cool seeing them and hearing them. It was a Tuesday night and the game started at eight (due to a rain delay) and they are still here cheering us on. The fans are what keeps pushing us.”

San Diego left fielder, Tommy Pham, doesn’t believe some Reds fans are delightful.

After his home run leading off the fourth inning Tuesday night, Pham thought some fans went over the line with profanities.

“I guess some liquid courage,” Pham said after the game via Zoom. “I don’t believe that should be tolerated in a baseball stadium.

“When you curse at me, that’s one thing, different from, you know, ‘Pham sucks.’ That’s perfectly acceptable. But the curse words are what I have a problem with,” he added. “That’s not something you’d say to me face-to-face. ... You always get heckling, but the curse words is what’s new and unreal. MLB needs to step up. If an usher hears vulgarities, that person needs to be tossed.”

Pham is still recovering, working diligently before games, to build up back strength.

Last October, while walking to his car in the parking lot of a San Diego strip club, he was accosted near his car by several men. Pham tried to defend himself and was stabbed in the back. The wound required 200 stitches and he has a 12-inch scar on his back.

He sued the strip club, proving he had no alcohol in his system and security tape showed he was not the aggressor. He won an out-of-court settlement.

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