Former closer Jason Isringhausen tried out for the Reds today

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Jason Isringhausen hasn’t thrown a pitch in the majors since undergoing Tommy John surgery in June of 2009 and hasn’t been an effective pitcher since 2007, but he’s still trying to keep his career alive.

According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, Isringhausen threw approximately 30-35 pitches for Reds pitching coach Bryan Price in Arizona earlier today. He is hoping to receive a minor league contract with a spring training invite, but the Reds are still discussing the matter internally.

“He threw the ball fine, well enough to feel optimistic that with a Spring Training to build his arm strength, he could get back to being productive again,” Price said. “That is if he can stay healthy, which is a top concern for anybody coming off an arm injury.”

The 38-year-old right-hander posted an ugly 9.53 ERA over his first seven appearances with Triple-A Louisville after joining the Reds on a minor league contract last July, but was shut down with a strained right elbow less than one month later.

Isringhausen, a former two-time All-Star, has a 3.60 career ERA over 621 lifetime appearances and ranks 22nd all-time with 293 saves.

Kirk Gibson home run happened 30 years ago

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With the Dodgers trying to make it back to the World Series for the second year in a row — and trying to win it for the first time in 30 years — it’s worth looking back at the last time they won it. More specifically, it’s worth looking back at the signature moment from the last time they won it. Which, really, was one of baseball’s all-time signature moments.

Yep, I’m talking about Kirk Gibson’s famous game-winning home run off of Dennis Eckersley of the Oakland Athletics in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, which happened 30 years ago tonight.

All playoff magic for anyone too young to remember Bill Mazeroski’s homer in 1960 is measured against Gibson taking Dennis Eckersley downtown to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 win. Heck, even if you were around in 1960, it’s far less likely that you saw Mazeroski’s homer than it was for you to have seen Gibson’s. Nationally broadcast in prime time to a nation of millions who had not yet fragmented into viewers of hundreds of obscure cable channels and various forms of streaming entertainments, it was a moment that sent shockwaves through the world of sports.

For my part, I was fifteen years-old, sitting in my living room in Beckley, West Virginia watching it as it happened. Like most of the rest of the country, I was convinced that the Dodgers had no chance to beat the mighty Bash Brothers and the 104-win Oakland A’s. Especially given that the Dodgers’ leader, MVP-to-be Gibson, was hobbled and not starting. Even when he was called on to pinch hit, I had no faith that he’d be able to touch Eckersley, the best relief pitcher on the planet, let alone hit the ball with any kind of authority.

But, as Vin said when he called it, the Dodgers’ year was so improbable that, in hindsight, it made perfect sense for Gibson to have done the impossible: