Hal: Reds’ true identity exposed

The Cincinnati Greens showed up at Great American Ball Park Friday night, perhaps trying to slip into the park incognito.

Even though the Reds wore green hats and green trim on their white home uniforms in honor of Irish Heritage Night in Great American Ball Park, the New York Mets recognized them immediately.

And what transpired over the next 3 ½ hours was an insult to every Irishman who ever cheered for the Reds. The Mets didn’t even need a handful of four-leaf clovers to defrock the green Reds, 14-5.

The Mets came to town as a near mirror image of the Reds — both were in fourth place, eight games under .500.

But instead of looking like the 1962 New York Mets (120 losses), they looked like the 1927 New York Yankees — 18 hits and five home runs including a pair of three-run blasts by Travis d’Arnaud and Curtis Granderson early in the game.

Granderson came into the game 0 for 16 but drove in five runs with a two-run double in the first and the three-run home run in the sixth.

The 14 runs are the most scored by the Mets this season, outdoing their previous best in a 12-7 win over the New York Yankees in May.

There was mostly silence in manager Bryan Price’s office after the game and he said, “Not a whole lot of questions, but I understand. There is not a whole lot to ask. I get it.

“It’s no fun for anyone. We kept people here 3 ½ hours for nothing more than postgame fireworks and that’s a shame.”

Alfredo Simon, who has won one game since the All-Star break, needed 60 pitches to get through the first two innings and was gone after four (six runs, eight hits, three walks). He is 13-10, but 1-7 in nine starts since he appeared in the All-Star Game.

The Reds have now lost 42 straight games when the opposition scores more than six runs, tying the club record. And they are 15-31 since the All-Star break. They are 11 games out of first place and they are not just dead in the water, they are under water with no rescue vessel on the horizon.

They’ve lost six of their last seven and put up about as much fight as a turtle on its back in the middle of the road.

After the Mets scored two in the first, the Reds stayed within striking distance of portly starter Bartolo Colon and only trailed 3-2 after two innings. And they had five hits in those two innings.

After that Colon turned the Reds off like a sprinkler spigot — no more runs and only two hits in the next five innings.

Two of the Reds’ three runs came on solo home runs, a first-inning rip by Devin Mesoraco (22) and an eighth-inning blast by Todd Frazier (24).

“The key thing is going out there and competing,” said Price. “Nobody wants to be embarrassed like this. We’ve had an extremely poor record since the All-Star Game and not a whole lot of things have worked out terribly well.”

The Reds have two more games with the Mets, then finish the season with 19 games against National League Central teams, including important games against contenders. They have seven against St. Louis, six against Milwaukee and three against Pittsburgh.

“We’re all professionals and we have to play out all 162,” said Price. “This can get worse, believe me, or it can get better. One of the two. We have three-plus weeks left in the season and nobody wants to sit through it like this for three weeks.

“It’s not like we don’t have the players to win more games,” he added. “We do. We have to take some pride in what we do and compete because we are going to be playing some teams that have a chance to go to the postseason.”

Of his team’s 3-2 deficit after two innings that turned into 12-2 before the Reds scored again, Price said, “It got so far out of reach so quickly. To pull some redeeming quality out of that game would be impossible. We couldn’t stop them from scoring. It is hard to be invested when you are down that far that early in a ballgame.”