Thanks to the self-sacrificing efforts of LaRosa's pizza in Cincinnati and environs, ticket-holding Reds fans are eligible for a free pizza every time Reds pitchers strike out 11 or more batters in a game. MLB.com's Mark Sheldon notes the rub:
When the promotion was done last season, there were 14 occasions when fans have gotten pizza. Already this season, it's happened seven times -- including four of the previous five games on the homestand.
That's not surprising. Strikeouts across baseball continue to trend upward, and this season Reds hurlers lead the NL in whiffs, strikeouts-per-nine and K%. In other words, they miss bats at an exceptionally high rate, and that, as Sheldon notes, has yielded more than $100,000 in free pizza for qualifying Reds rooters this season alone.
"We have franchise owners that can be a tough group, and they weren't too thrilled with giving away free pizza," said LaRosa's VP of marketing Pete Buscani. "But they've seen how happy people are and that they come in excited and thankful for us doing this promotion. Happy guests make the franchise owners happy, too."
In related news, LaRosa's pizza totally supports the decision to keep Aroldis Chapman in the bullpen.