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Cincinnati Reds:The Cuban Missile Looks More Like The Scud Dud

Updated on June 18, 2013

The Cuban Missile Looks More Like The Scud Dud

by Robb Hoff

June 24, 2012

Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer and left fielder Josh Willingham stuck a fork in the Cincinnati Reds Saturday afternoon with two clutch at-bats against Reds struggling closer Aroldis Chapman.

The 4-3 loss to the Twins was yet another balloon burst this month for the Reds who have dropped seven one-run losses out of their last eight losses overall.

Fortunately, I only had to endure the lowlights for this blown Reds loss because the Sunset Grille beckoned from its Ohio River deck, where guitarist Mike Kruse plays on Fridays and Sundays.

Equipped with his Alvarez six-string and his 12-string ARIA, Kruse spun his tapestry of sound into the hazy, hot afternoon with the likes of Bob Dylan's Wagon Wheel and Mr. Tambourine Man, The Beatles Norwegian Wood and Yesterday, The Mamas and The Papas California Dreamin' and Tom Petty's Wildflowers.

The heat was stifling despite the Ohio River perch of the Sunset Grille, but I kept listening, knowing that I was missing the Reds chance to pad their lead in the N.L. Central.

After Kruse looped bass and rhythm tracks, he brought out his sunburst Gibson Les Paul Custom re-issue he bought in 1976. From there he morphed into Eric Clapton's Before You Accuse Me with the lead overtop and dove into the lyrics for a steady groove that lasted longer than I thought.

By the time I left the deck and meandered around all the parked bikes to reach my SUV, the game was a foregone conclusion. All I had to go by was the rather blunt recap from Marty Brennaman about how The Cuban Missile turned out to be a Scud Dud instead -- my words not his.

Chapman went from unhittable to unbearable in the snap of a guitar string.

Let's hope he can get return to form soon before he implodes beyond repair. With all the off-field drama he's had this year, the last thing he needed was to lose his effectiveness on the mound. The Cuban Missile needs to reload and start blowing away hitters again.


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