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Bryan Reynolds march to greatness comes to a quiet end

Do you know how you can tell that the Bryan Reynolds hitting streak wasn’t all that historic? It came to an end during the Pirates’ 4-2 victory over the Braves at Truist Park on Sunday afternoon, and I said to myself, “Did Reynolds get a hit?”

Obviously, Reynolds did not get a hit, and his streak ended at 25 games.

I remember where I was way back in 1987 when Paul Molitor’s 39-game hitting streak came to an end. OK, I don’t recall exactly where I was that night, but I watched highlights of it on the Today Show or Good Morning America the next morning, and they talked about it at great length. I believe the hosts even interviewed Molitor, himself. The Brewers won in walk-off fashion (they didn’t refer to such victories as that back then), with Molitor on the on-deck circle.

Molitor celebrated with his teammates, but you know deep down, he was thinking, “Damn it!” Heck, Milwaukee didn’t even make the postseason that year.

Oh well, back to Reynolds. Why did everyone make such a huge deal out of his hitting streak? When you really think about it, starting your “hit watch” in the low 20s is kind of like becoming aware of the possibility of a no-hitter in the fourth inning. I mean, the thought does enter your mind, but players don’t begin the ritual of ignoring the pitcher or pretending they don’t even see him until like the sixth or seventh inning, right?

I guess you can blame the modern era, a time that includes social media. Everyone is now hyper-aware of everything all the time. There are no surprises. Will the Pirates make a huge move at the deadline? If they do, it certainly won’t be much of a shock to anyone–we’ve been talking about it for weeks. Ever go on Steelers Twitter during the popular free-agent frenzy every March? Holy frick, I wonder how much employee time gets wasted during Day 1, alone? Everyone is online refreshing their feed every few seconds, and by the time Day 2 rolls around, it feels like Day 222.

The Pirates threw a combined no-hitter against the Houston Astros at old Three Rivers Stadium back in 1997, and my brother, uncle and I weren’t even aware of the possibility until the eighth inning. Instead of worrying about Bucco baseball, we were throwing a football around out in the backyard.

Today, with smartphones and text messaging, we would have known about it by the fourth inning.

I guess it’s hard for any great moments to sneak up on sports fans in the 2020s.

I’ll leave you with this little thought nugget: Can Bryan Reynolds begin a new quest toward almost the halfway point of history?

Stay tuned.


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