In the first meeting between the Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox franchises since the classic 1975 World Series, I saw a rather curious sight on Monday. The Reds were starting a left-handed pitcher by the name of Eric Milton. That caught my interest since my favorite Major League Baseball club, the Minnesota Twins, once had a southpaw by the name of Eric Milton. "Milty", as he was affectionately called, was a member of the Twins from 1998 through 2003. He even gave us Twins fans a rare thrill in the late 90s with his no-hitter against the Anaheim Angels (now referred to as "The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim". An aside: Since the Spanish phrase "Los Angeles" translates to "The Angels" in English, I guess that makes the club "The Angels Angels of Anaheim.").
When witnessing the Monday evening debacle that was the Reds' 10-3 loss to the Sox, I figured that couldn't be the Eric Milton that played for our Twins. The same Eric Milton who won 41 games from 2000-2002? The same Eric Milton who was traded by the Twins to the Philadelphia Phillies for key players such as Carlos Silva and Nick Punto? The same Eric Milton who, when traded, prompted All-Star CF Torii Hunter to question the teams' commitment to winning?
Much to my surprise, it was indeed that Eric Milton. The same Eric Milton who is now 3-8 with a 7.97 ERA. The same Eric Milton who has allowed seven or more earned runs in three of his last four starts. The same Eric Milton who thus far this season has allowed a whopping 22 home runs in just over 75 innings pitched (roughly 2.5 per nine innings).
With those kind of beatings suffered lately? Say "Uncle", Milty.