Monthly Archives: April 2006

April 30, 2006

Game 25: Astros 3, Reds 2

The Reds ended a six game winning streak with a 3-2 loss to the Houston Astros this afternoon at Great American Ball Park.

Elizardo Ramirez got his second start in place of Eric Milton, who is still recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. Ramirez's first outing was an impressive showing in the canyon of RFK, but his second showing was not bad for a guy of his age and experience. He allowed three runs (earned) on six hits and two walks through six innings. He struck out five and allowed two home runs.

Matt Belisle, Rick White, and Todd Coffey each worked an inning of scoreless relief, with only Coffey surrendering a hit.

The offense took the day off today, hopefully to rest up for the series against the Cardinals tomorrow. The Reds mustered only four hits, the only two that mattered coming in the sixth inning. Quinton McCracken singled to lead off the inning and Adam Dunn, who suddenly remembered he's supposed to be a slugger, homered him in three batters later.

The loss brings the Reds' record to 17-8, tied for first place in the NLC with the St. Louis Cardinals, who just so happen to be coming to town. Jerry Narron has shuffled the rotation so that Bronson Arroyo will take the mound to face Mark Mulder tomorrow, leaving Dave Williams to face Fat Syndey, a guy he definitely has a chance against, on Tuesday. Tomorrow's contest begins at 7:10 p.m.

April 30, 2006

Get Out Your Swiffer, the Lizard’s in Town

Elizardo: Lizard KingI'm apparently in the mood to taunt the Baseball Gods today because I'm calling for Reds fans everywhere to get out their Swiffer for the sweep of the Astros this afternoon.

The last time The Lizard pitched, he flat-out earned himself a second look. If he can keep it up today, we could be seeing this cute little fella long-term.

April 30, 2006

Griffey Helps Team (Whether He Likes It or Not)

CINCINNATI, OH -- Ken Griffey, Jr. discovered that the Houston Astros' grip on first place was held together with pine tar this weekend when he replaced the tar with honey.

Griffey, a notorious prankster and bored during his continuing stint on the disabled list, snuck into the visitor's clubhouse before Friday's game. There, he cleaned the nasty-ass pine tar off Craig Biggio's batting helmet. In place of the tar, he covered the helmet in honey.

“It seemed to fit,” said Griffey of the prank, “they're supposed to be killer bees.”

Even Griffey didn't know that the tar was all that was holding the team together.

“I just thought it might attract gnats or something,” Griffey explained, “I didn't realize I was helping the Reds win.”

Helping the Reds win is not one of Griffey's priorities. He recently said he would be unwilling to consider a position change, despite the fact that the Reds have been performing better without him in center field.

“Look, I'm only 36, and I'm held together with the very best staples and duct tape that science has to offer,” said Griffey. “There's no reason for me to move.”

The Reds agree and have left Griffey on the disabled list going into Sunday's game.

April 30, 2006

Cubbie Woes

Glendon RuschI know we're not due to play the Cubbies again for a while, but I think last night's performance is worthy of note. Our favorite Chicago pitcher, Glendon Rusch, gave up seven earned runs in two and two-thirds innings. Those seven runs would turn out to be less than half of the opponent's score as the Cubs got beat 16-2.

Death has an open letter to Mr. Rusch. I remember when we felt this way about Milton.

April 29, 2006

Game 24: Astros 3, Reds 6

The Reds won the game and the series against the Houston Astros this afternoon by a score of 3-6.

Pitching stud Aaron Harang started with the pitching and worked seven and two-thirds innings, allowing three runs (earned) on five hits and two walks to get the win.

Pitching--well, I don't want to say “dud,” but…--Kent Mercker finished out the eighth, but not before allowing an inherited runner to score on two hits. I was a little afraid of what might happen if Harang boiled over sitting in the dugout watching Mercker's performance. I can see how that fella can be pretty intimidating. But when Ryan Freel caught the final out of the inning and Harang cracked a smile, I released the breath I didn't realize I'd been holding, and all was well.

As is becoming commonplace, David Weathers worked a hitless ninth to get the save.

The Houston Astros have been out-homering the Reds this series. They first got on the board in the second inning when Jason Lane sent one flying out over left field while Preston Wilson stood on base. Score: 2-0.

The Reds didn't make an appearance on the scoreboard until the fourth inning. After getting Rich Aurilia out, Andy Pettitte walked Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns to set up Edwin Encarnación for the RBI double. Brandon Phillips used his superpowers to coax a bad throw to first from Pettitte to score Kearns and Encarnación while keeping himself safe on first.

Phillips advanced to second on a single by Harang, stole third base, and then scored when ball four to Freel got away from the catcher. Let me tell you, this play confused the heck out of me when it happened, because I couldn't figure out why Freel was running to first when he hadn't swung at the pitch. It took me a moment to realize that, though he had walked, he was running to get out of the way of Phillips. Score: 4-2.

Aurilia hit the Reds' first home run of the series (and only the second of the last two series) in the bottom of the fifth. Dunn then doubled, moved to third on Kearns' single, and came home two batters later when Phillips grounded into a fielder's choice. Score: 6-2.

The top of the sixth featured a truly remarkable catch by Jason LaRue. Willy Taveras popped up a bunt, oh probably six feet into the air and maybe four feet in front of the plate. LaRue managed to lunge forward and catch the ball right at the ground, then had the presence of mind to get up and double Craig Biggio off second base.

Felipe Lopez committed an error on the very next play that required Harang to face a couple more batters in the inning than he otherwise would have. The giving away of outs had been a hallmark of the Reds 2005 team that I wouldn't mind never seeing again. Nevertheless, the score remained 6-2.

Harang allowed a single to Chris Burke to lead off the eighth before getting Biggio and Taveras out. Still, Narron pulled Harang in favor of Mercker to turn around Lance Berkman. Berkman promptly singled to center to bring in Burke. Mercker then gave up a double to Ryan Ensberg before finally inducing the fly ball to center from Mike Lamb. Final score: 6-3.

The win brings the Reds record to 17-7 and gives them a one-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLC standings. The Reds go for the series sweep tomorrow at 1:15 p.m. Elizardo “The Lizard” Ramirez faces off against Taylor “Sweetie Face” Buchholz.