Before this game, I told my Crack Technical Staff that the Reds were facing the Astros and Clemens. “Easy,” he said. “They'll only need to score one.”
And he was right, though the Reds piled on a second run in this shutout that got Aaron Harang his eleventh win.
Harang pitched eight innings allowing zero runs on four hits and one walk. Todd Coffey came in in the ninth, prompting me to ask, half asleep on the couch, “where the hell is Guardado?” In fact, Eddie Guardado was unavailable with forearm stiffness. So when Coffey got himself in trouble two-thirds of the way through the ninth, it was Bill Bray who got the last out and his first major league save.
The Reds scored both of their runs off Clemens, which is just nice. Scott Hatteberg knocked in Adam Dunn in the first inning as part of his 3-for-4 night. Harang brought in the other run with a sacrifice bunt when he plated Brandon Phillips in the seventh inning. Harang was 1-for-2 on the night to bring his average to .178. Still .024 higher than Dewayne Wise who pinch-ran for Hatteberg in the ninth. Poor Wise. He has not found his stroke yet.
Anyway, the win brings the Reds' record to 53-47. They're attempting to take the series even as I type this, sending the sideshow that is Bronson Arroyo out to face Andy Pettitte.