Daily Archives: May 22, 2006

May 22, 2006

RHM Visits the Nation’s Capital

This weekend I headed out to Washington D.C. to witness the graduation of my brother from The George Washington University.

On Sunday, I made it out to RFK Stadium to catch part of the game between the Nationals and the Orioles, but I'm afraid my game wrap is going to be sparse. We didn't get into the game until the sixth inning, and it was a win for the home team, so we saw all of about two innings of baseball.

Furthermore, my camera has officially bit the dust; I guess I dropped it one too many times. The good news is that it's a good excuse to buy a new camera. The bad news is that I don't have even any mediocre pictures to share with you of the stadium.

Still, I think I can give you a pretty decent visual. Envision yourself walking up the concourse in Riverfront at the very end of its life. Now, imagine it just a little dingier, a little older. Really make it feel like this place has been given up on more than once, but just won't die. And there you are at RFK.

We were sitting in the 500 level, so it was quite a hike up to our seats, but the view was lovely. The lowest level of seats is day-glo orange, which is odd. The middle level is pink (though I hear its supposed to be maroon or something) and the top level is yellow. The top of the top level is a wavy line, which is a cool effect. If they'd managed to work the wavy line into any of the other architectural elements of the stadium, it would have been pretty nifty.

Daedalus of Church of Baseball was seated in the very same section as us and identified my Crack Technical Staff by his Reds shirt as he walked by with a couple hot dogs. She told us about the new stadium that is supposed to be built for 2008, the lack of experience among baseball fans in D.C. (“they don't know when to cheer”), and shared her beer. I liked her very well. Check out her site often.

It was a great trip, but, like the Reds, I'm glad to be home again.

May 22, 2006

Game 44: Reds 0, Tigers 1

The Reds wasted a beautiful outing by Aaron Harang on Sunday to lose to the Tigers 0-1.

Harang pitched a complete eight-inning game, giving up just one run (earned) on five hits and one walk. He struck out nine.

Ken Griffey, Jr., Adam Dunn, and Edwin Encarnación each contributed a hit. Ryan Freel, Felipe Lopez (twice), Austin Kearns, and Brandon Phillips each walked. And that was the total of the Reds' baserunners, and all eight were stranded.

The loss brought the Reds' record to 25-19 and gave them their third consecutive lost series. They would bid a happy farewell to Detroit and the stupid American League when they returned home to face the Milwaukee Brewers. Bronson Arroyo would face Dave Bush.

May 22, 2006

Game 43: Reds 6, Tigers 7

The Reds came out on the losing side of a high-scoring affair on Saturday as they fell to the Tigers in the tenth inning by a score of 6-7.

Eric Milton started for the Reds for the first time since game 14 on April 19, unless you count that abbreviated appearance in the exhibition Hall of Fame affair. Milton allowed five runs (earned) on 10 hits and three walks through five innings pitched. Ouch.

Rick White took over for an inning and a third, holding the Tigers scoreless on one hit. Chris Hammond took over the next inning and two-thirds and held them hitless. David Weathers allowed two runs (one earned) on one hit and a walk in his inning and two-thirds of work to get the blown save.

Down by two, the Reds got on the board in the top of the third with a solo shot by Brandon Phillips. The Tigers would come back to pile on two more runs in the bottom of the inning and yet another in the bottom of the fourth. Score after three: 1-5.

Astoundingly, the Reds took the lead in the top of the seventh. Adam Dunn led off the inning with a solo shot. Phillips singled two batters later, and Javier Valentín singled a pitching change later. Ryan Freel struck out, but Lopez walked to load up the bases.

Before this game, Ken Griffey, Jr. had never hit a home run in Comerica Park, and it was one of only two current parks that he'd never homered in. So, of course, when he came up to bat with the bases loaded and needing a grand slam to get the lead, he deposited the ball over the wall in right field. Score: 6-5.

Alas, Weathers gave up the tying run in the bottom of the ninth forcing the extra inning. Bloody Weathers.

In the bottom of the tenth, Weathers struck out the first batter he faced, then hit Carlos Guillen. Guillen stole second, but didn't really need to since Weathers walked the batter. Dmitri Young grounded into a fielder's choice just in time to set up Craig Monroe to reach on a throwing error by Lopez and bring in Guillen.

The loss brought the Reds' record to 25-18. They would play the rubber game Sunday afternoon, sending Aaron Harang up against Nate Robertson.

May 22, 2006

Game 42: Reds 9, Tigers 4

The Reds started their first inter-league series of 2006 with a win over the Detroit Tigers by a score of 9-4.

Brandon Claussen allowed four runs on four hits and a walk through the first seven innings of the game for the win. Todd Coffey allowed zero runs on one hit in the eighth. Chris Hammond held the Tigers hitless through the ninth. Hammond's ERA: 7.71.

The Reds drew first blood in the top of the second when Rich Aurilia led off the inning with a home run. It was his first at-bat after coming off the disabled list. Scott Hatteberg walked and Austin Kearns doubled to set up Javier Valentín for a sacrifice fly. Jason LaRue struck out and Brandon Phillips grounded out to end the inning. Score: 2-0.

The good guys busted it open in the top of the fourth. Hatteberg singled and Kearns and Valentín walked to load the bases. LaRue was hit by a pitch to bring in Hatteberg. A triple by Phillips and a fielding error by the Tigers' Carlos Guillen cleared the bases.

But the Reds weren't done yet. After a a pitching change and a ground-out by Felipe Lopez, Adam Dunn knocked a home run to right field to score Phillips and himself. The Tigers would get three of those runs back in the bottom of the inning, but the Reds retained the lead. Score: 8-3.

The Reds got their final run in the top of the fifth. Kearns walked to lead off the inning and LaRue doubled two batters later. Phillips contributed a sacrifice fly to bring in Kearns. The Tigers were able to score one more in the bottom of the sixth, but the score remained the same for the rest of the game. Final score: 9-4.

The win brought the Reds' record to 25-17. Eric Milton would make his first post-DL appearance against Mike Maroth.

May 22, 2006

Game 41: Reds 9, Pirates 8

The Reds snapped a losing streak that went on for five games with this 9-8 come-from-behind win on Thursday afternoon.

Fans could feel this win coming on. There was a positive vibe coming out of Cincinnati on Thursday. Too bad starting pitcher Dave Williams didn't feel it. He allowed six runs (earned) on seven hits and two walks through just three innings of work. In fact, he allowed that many runs in just the first inning.

Elizardo Ramirez took over in the fourth, giving up one run on one hit through one inning. Matt Belisle gave up zero runs on zero hits through two innings to get the win.

David Weathers came in with a two-run in the lead in the seventh and gave up one run on two hits through two innings, demonstrating the trite old saying: you never put in Weathers to defend a one-run lead. Todd Coffey pitched the ninth and held the Buccos scoreless on one hit for the save.

Down by six after the bottom of the first, the Reds made it on the board in the top of the second inning. With one out, Scott Hatteberg singled to set up Jason LaRue for the two-run home run two batters later. Score 2-6.

Often, this offense can seem to keep their groove for only one inning, but this day the offense struck again in the top of the fourth. With one out, LaRue and Ryan Freel singled and Ray Olmedo walked. Felipe Lopez singled to bring in LaRue, and make the score 3-6. Adam Dunn grounded into a rare double play to end the threat. The Pirates got the run back in the bottom of the inning. Score: 3-7.

In the top of the fifth, with one out Austin Kearns hit a home run to left field. Two batters later, Edwin Encarnación was hit by a pitch. LaRue and Freel singled to bring in Encarnación. Score: 5-7.

The Reds finally took the lead in the top of the seventh. Hatteberg doubled and scored when Encarnación doubled as well. Freel singled two batters later to bring in Encarnación. Pinch hitter Javier Valentín and Felipe Lopez walked. After a strike out by Dunn, Ken Griffey, Jr singled in Freel and Valentín. Score: 9-7.

Weathers gave back one of the runs in the eighth inning, but the Reds held on to keep the game a win. Final score: 9-8.

The win brought the Reds' record to 24-17 and prevented a sweep at the hands of the Pirates. They went on to Detroit for an inter-league series with the Tigers. Brandon Claussen took on Jeremy Bonderman.