Reds beat Giants 5-1, real fireworks preceded the game

The Cincinnati Reds Tommy Pham (left) was taken out of the line up before Fri May 27, 2022 game at Great American Ball Park for slapping San Francisco Giants Joc Pederson (right) in the face during batting practice (file photos from TULANEFML)

By Daniel Dullum
Friday, May 27, 2022

All of the action in Cincinnati seemed to take place before the Reds hosted the San Francisco Giants on Friday.

After the game had been delayed for two hours due to inclement weather in the Cincinnati area, the lowly Reds eventually prevailed 5-1.

Joc Pederson, who was in the middle of a pregame dispute with Cincinnati’s Tommy Pham, drove in the only San Francisco run while going 1-for-3.

Giants starter Carlos Rodon (4-4) took his third straight loss, walking three and striking out two while giving up three earned runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. Graham Ashcraft (1-0) got the win, while Art Warren earned his third save.

Off the field, Pederson got into a pregame disagreement with Pham, leaving Pham as a pregame scratch from the Cincinnati lineup. Pederson, meanwhile, remained in the Giants’ lineup.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that during pregame batting practice, Pham got into an argument with Pederson. The incident ran its course quickly, and Cincinnati manager David Bell stayed in the outfield to speak with Pham after both teams resumed their warmup activities.

Reportedly, according to The Athletic, Pham slapped Pederson over a disagreement involving their fantasy football league. Pham claims that Pederson was the instigator. The two players have never been teammates.

MLB is investigating the incident.

Before the game, Giants manager Gabe Kapler released a statement explaining his decision to discontinue participating on the field for the playing of the national anthem in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that claimed 21 lives.

Kapler said, in part, that he would only start coming out for the Star-Spangled Banner if he “felt better about the direction of our country.” He also criticized “police officers who had weapons and who receive nearly 40 percent of the city’s funding” for failing to stop the shooter for an hour after parents asked the police to intervene.

Kapler also criticized politicians for their suggestion that ‘locked doors and armed teachers’ would provide a solution. In his online blog, Kapler wrote, ‘Every time I place my hand over my heart and remove my hat, I’m participating in a self-congratulatory glorification of the ONLY country where these mass shootings take place.

“On Wednesday, I walked out onto the field, I listened to the announcement as we honored the victims in Uvalde,” Kapler continued. “I bowed my head. I stood for the national anthem. My brain said drop to a knee, my body didn’t listen. I wanted to walk back inside; instead, I froze. I felt like a coward.”

Adding to the strangeness of the day, the Giants tried to bring in pitcher Jake McGee, who had just been activated from the injured list. But McGee wasn’t on the lineup card given to the Reds and the umpires. So, McGee wasn’t allowed to pitch, and Jose Alvarez came in to pitch instead, giving up two more runs.

Because of the nearly two-hour rain delay, the Reds held a pregame fireworks show to honor local noise ordinances.

On Saturday, Alex Wood (3-3, 4.82) starts for the Giants, while Vladimir Gutierrez (0-6, 8.70) is on the mound for Cincinnati. Game time is 12:10 PDT.

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