Daily Archives: August 21, 2006

August 21, 2006

Game 125: Astros 3, Reds 4

The Reds put together a bona fide winning streak today when they beat the Astros 3-4.

Bronson Arroyo was solid in his first failed attempt for win #11, giving up two solo shots on five hits and two walks through six innings. Rheal Cormier gave up the other solo shot in the seventh.

Ryan Franklin, of all people, got the win with his hitless performance in the eighth inning, and Scott Schoeneweis got the save with a similarly hitless performance in the ninth.

Rich Aurilia was featured in the pre-game programming talking about putting together the pieces of a winning team, how he was pleased so long as he was in the line-up, and how Edwin Encarnación and Scott Hatteberg are having such good seasons. He didn't mention his own good season, but it was apparent tonight as he went 4-for-4 with three RBI on the power of a three-run homer in the eighth to tie up the game. He knocked in Encarnación and Adam Dunn.

You know, this discussion reminds me of a time when Dunn was the first baseman for the Reds. Aren't you glad that's not the case anymore?

Royce Clayton brought in the winning run. On the Fox Sports game wrap, Jim Day mentioned how Clayton is trying to win over the fans in Cincinnati, and I can understand that is an uphill battle. He was acquired in an ill-begotten trade, he was proclaimed the everyday shortstop sight unseen, and the management totally tried to blow smoke up our asses about him as they justified those decisions. But not a one of those things is his fault, and it's not really appropriate to direct our outrage at Clayton himself.

It's not you, Royce, not really. You're just an unfortunate symbol of everything that's gone wrong with the management of this team this season. Keep on smacking in winning runs; we'll learn to see past it.

The win brings the Reds' record to 65-60 and their winning streak to three. They picked up a half game on the Cardinals, who were off today, to sit two games out of first place. They continue tomorrow with Kyle Lohse taking on Jason Hirsh at 7:10 p.m.

August 21, 2006

Personnel Moves

Time out to report a few new personnel moves:

1. Chris Michalak is on bereavement leave following the passing of his maternal grandmother on Sunday and will be away for at least three days (still expected to start Wednesday vs. Houston).

2. To fill Hopper's roster slot, IF/OF Norris Hopper, the International League batting leader with .349 (who made his major league debut with a pinch-single against the Pirates yesterday) was called up from Louisville.

3. To make room on the 40-man for Hopper, Mike Burns was DFA'ed.

4. Eddie Guardado has been placed on the 15-day DL on Sunday.

5. Matt Belisle was activated from the DL. He did not allow a run in six rehab appearances for the Bats.

OK, I think that's all of them.


August 21, 2006

At Least We Felt Like Winners

Late yesterday morning the mid-level unified Delaware County Special Olympics softball team, the Stars, made their appearance at the state softball tournament in Indianapolis.

Despite heroic efforts from our county organizers, two athletes did not show up to the tournament and the Stars were forced to forfeit the game. However, we borrowed a player from the low-level team and used our playing time to play an all-in-good-fun game with the Hamilton County Strikers.

The highlight of the game came in the bottom of the fifth inning. We were down 14-4, and if we couldn't score a run, the Strikers would win by mercy killing. After a quick out, I found myself at the plate. I blooped on over the second baseman's head for a base hit. I would end up 3-for-4 on the game with--count 'em--TWO balls leaving the infield.

Then Jerry, who isn't much of a softball player anyway but who also didn't show up to a practice all season, did the most unlikely of things and hit the ball into the no-man's land in front of third base. The opposing pitcher, muscles rippling, grasped the ball with his perfectly tanned arm and, as our eyes met across the infield, he hesitated on the throw and I was safe at second.

Glen, who is less “a softball player” and more “the guy who drives the bus” came through with a ground ball that the shortstop bobbled, scoring the lead runner (me!) from second and extending the game. We would play a regulation seven innings in our time allotment, the first time we've ever done such a thing.

Other highlights included our shortstop catching a liner so hard-hit that the base runner felt the need to give him a high-five, a six-pitch inning (for the good guys!), and a throw from an outfielder resulting in a runner being out at second.

Even though we lost something like 15-6 and came in fourth in our four-team division (or would have if we hadn't forfeited), we were pleased with our performance and not at all bitter about accepting our bronze medals. I've got it hanging on the wall in my office to allow all to bask in the glory that is the Special Olympics medallion. No one's actually come by to see it yet, but I imagine they're just being polite and hanging back to let everyone else go first.