Sports Today: Reds keep finding ways to look worse

Credit: Jennifer Stewart

Credit: Jennifer Stewart

The Cincinnati Reds were just about at their worst Monday in Arizona.

Scoring five runs is a saving grace, but it's hard to overlook the three errors and another terrible start by Homer Bailey.

Plus there's this:

Nick Ahmed, Chris Owings and John Ryan Murphy each homered as Arizona's offense — slumbering for nearly all of May — came alive for a 12-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday, just the Diamondbacks' third win in their last 18 games.

Yes, the Diamondbacks have been as bad over the last three weeks as the Reds were in the first three.

Remember that?

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This game included Arizona’s highest-scoring inning in over a month and the most runs the club has scored this season.

Adding some insult to the weekend's poor performance on the field were the laughable comments by Brandon Finnegan, who told The Cincinnati Enquirer he doesn't understand why being unable to get outs cost him his spot on the major-league roster.

"It pisses you off, honestly," Finnegan told the Enquirer. "It's like, 'All right, I'm going to show them.' Clearly, they don't have that confidence in me right now, so I'll prove to them that I'm fine. It just took a couple starts, that's all.

"That's how it was with Homer, too. It's not bashing Homer at all. Homer was gone for 2 1/2, three years. It's going to take him awhile to get back at it. Everybody understands that with him. I was hoping I'd get kind of the same reaction, but that's fine. I'm not going to make excuses. I'm just going to come down here and do my work."

Dude gets five more starts than he deserved and still complains about not getting enough of an opportunity?

Come on, man!

He somehow thinks 40 percent is a good enough success rate to maintain a spot in the rotation, which is fairly puzzling, and his comparison to Bailey is pretty poor for multiple reasons.

HAL MCCOY: How the Reds became the worst team in baseball

Bailey made 18 starts last season (Finnegan made four), had a full spring training and has a much longer track record to begin with.

And despite how bad Bailey has been, he still has a better ERA than Finnegan this season…

Meanwhile, the Cubs continued their bid to be the least-likable team in the major leagues as they beat the Pirates on Monday. 

Anthony Rizzo’s takeout slide of Pirates catcher Elias Diaz was determined by MLB to be legal, but it’s still a dirty play.

The defense of this, apparently, is that Rizzo was trying to break up the double play.

This is laughable.

There’s a big difference between this and getting in a fielder’s way as he is trying to make a throw (the most common example of trying to break up a double play) even if that results in a collision.

In that case, the fielder at least gets a choice if he wants to follow through and throw while taking a hit (which he’s probably going to be able to brace for) or just eat the ball to protect himself.

Diaz has no such choice here.

Rizzo is simply attacking a defenseless player, and one in a posture that seems more likely to result in serious injury than the average takeout slide at second base.

(Also since Rizzo throws his legs out from his path to the plate to hit the catcher intentionally, I’m not really convinced ruling it legal makes sense.)…

Then there were those NBA playoffs. 

Cleveland won the Silver Medal Series as LeBron James starred and the not-ready-for-prime-time Celtics crumbled in game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Then last night the Golden State Warriors remembered they are the Golden State Warriors, raining down threes in a third-quarter blitz that was more than enough to expose the Houston one-trick-Rockets and win the seventh game of the Western Conference Finals.

Both road teams won thanks to superior star power.

The Warriors looked very wobbly early but never looked back once Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson started making threes.

Houston couldn’t overcome the loss of Chris Paul or the fact their terrible perimeter shooting, which is a big problem since all the Rockets wanted to do was shoot from the perimeter.

Golden State looks at times like it has played a cheat code when the shots just start falling from everywhere, and defensively the Warriors are long and do a good job of disrupting opponents, at least when they are in sync.

The Cavs only had one superstar healthy, but that was still more than Boston.

Sunday night the Celtics changed things up from their previous two losses by sucking for an entire half instead of just one quarter.

I had a feeling Boston would regret not building a much larger lead in the first quarter when Cleveland was struggling, and that was correct.

The Cavaliers scratched out enough points to win as LeBron James relentlessly attacked the largely unguarded basket and Boston unsurprisingly wilted in the heat of the moment.

Unlike the Cavs, the Celtics depend on running an offense to score, and they pretty much stopped executing eventually in favor of jacking bad shots from all over the court.

James was of course awesome again, but it’s hard to take anyone seriously who argues winning this series had much effect on his pursuit of Michael Jordan.

Let's save that Let's save that talk for another week or sotalk for another week or so.

The East was a well-documented joke this year, even more than most since not even LeBron’s team was great.

The Cavs were favored to win the series before it began, no doubt in no small part because Boston is extremely young and missing its two best players.

Cleveland’s finishing it off without Kevin Love raised the level of difficulty, but they usually only use him as a role player anyway so it’s not shocking former lottery pick Jeff Green was up to the task for one game at least.

They’ll need him back and some incredible focus to keep up with the Warriors in the NBA Finals, which start Thursday.

Meanwhile, Golden State is going to be favored, but they can’t mail it in.

They varied wildly from dominance to disastrously unfocused in the Houston series — even in the last two games, both must-wins for the defending champs.

The Warriors committed a lot of dumb fouls and bad turnovers early Sunday night, but if you can make shots man… everything looks a lot better, doesn’t it?

Boston would have won the Celtics had shot the ball decently, but they also shot poorly in no small part because they took too many bad shots, whereas Golden State has some of the more bona fide bad-shot makers ever to suit up.

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