May 31, 1975 Reds 6, Cardinals 0 (28-21)
Don Gullett improved to 6-3 with a four hitter over the Cards. He walked two and struck out five to earn the shutout.
May 30, 1975 Cardinals 5, Reds 4 (27-21)
In a back and forth affair, the Reds took the lead in the third with a two run shot by Johnny Bench, his eleventh homer of the season. The Expos scored one in the fourth and two in the fifth to take a 4-2 lead and drove out Reds’ starter Clay Kirby.
The score would stay that way until the top of the ninth. With runners on first and second, Pete Rose came up huge with a two run game tying double. Despite having only one out, the Reds couldn’t score Rose from second, and it would cost them.
I’m trying to be positive today. The Reds won five games this week, and topped it off with a drubbing of the Pirates. When you get a 1/4 of your total season’s wins in one week, it’s news dog gone it.
Eric Milton has already given up 20 homers this season. You figure if he stays off the DL, he’s due for 33 or so starts. Since he has eleven, a simple math approach would tell you he’s on pace to give up sixty, which would easily beat Bert Blyleven’s 50 in 1986.
It’s the battle of the cellar dwellars this week as the Reds travel from one homerun happy park to another. They square off agains the Astros as OJ park. Not OJ the acquitted, but OJ the beverage.
May 28, 1975 Reds 6, Expos 0 (27-20)
Don Gullett was awesome. He gave up a double in the first, and a double in the sixth. He walked two and struck out five, and improved to 4-3.
With the back to back to sweeps, the Reds had won their last seven, and nine out of their last ten. When they began their run on May 17, they were 5 1/2 games back of the Dodgers. Now they stood a mere game and a half back.
It’s so hard to say “Reds Fan” and “Pessimist” in the same sentence these days. The Red’s three game losing streak came to a screeching halt last night as the Pirates of all teams topped the Red 8-4.
I know some people will say it looked like this before, but the Reds pitching staff now almost seems to be the kind of staff you’d expect to find on AAA team. I know Ramirez is only 22, but if he were on a good team, wouldn’t be down at AA or AAA. Randy Keisler has actually been a pleasant surprise, but based on his career numbers, he’s set to come back down to earth. Kent Merker has had success at the big league level but he’s 37 and probably won’t be around for too long. And Rickey Stone hasn’t a good year since 2003, and even that one was just good.
Those were the four guys who threw last night. The proofs in the pudding (numbers) so lets check out where the Reds staff is to date using the Hardball Times Team stats page.
First thing that strikes me as odd is the .510 slugging percentage. That’s almost .100 above the league average of .419. That’s bad. They’re line drive percentage is the worst in the league as well at .208. So even when the ball’s not going over the fance (at a league leading clip of 1.4 times every game), it’s being hit hard somewhere. The have the second worse groundball to fly ball ratio, so they’re not keeping the ball down like the have to. Pitching to contact is fine when the ball’s not going over the fence.
That’s all bad by the way.
This is over due, but if you haven’t checked out Red Hot Mama, who started her Reds blog a couple of months ago, be sure to stop by. Very good stuff.
May 26, 1975 Reds 4, Expos 3 (25-20)
The Reds capitalized on two Expos errors to win the front end of the doubleheader. In a back and forth game, the Reds scored two runs in the first inning, only to go down 3-2 by the top half of the sixth. The Reds tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on a throwing error when Ed Armbrister stole second base. Then in the seventh, Dave Concepcion scored the winning run on a bases loaded balk by Expos starter Woodie Fryman.
May 26, 1975 Reds 5, Expos 4 (26-20)
The Expos jumped out to what should have been a comfortable 4-0 lead, but in the bottom of the fifth the Reds got all the runs they’d need. With the bases loaded and one out, Joe Morgan drew a walk to shave the lead to 4-1. Johnny Bench then catapulted the Reds into the lead for good by hitting a grand slam, making it 5-4. it was Johnny Bench’s second grand slam of the month.
Finally, the Reds give me something to write about. They cut the one player that seemed to have some fire in his belly. Give those nasty the fans the bird!!! Unfortunately, even with that all fire Graves just wasn’t effective on the mound. You gave us some good innings in the past Danny, so I wish you well.
I did expect more from Miley though. I pictured him more as a players coach, but now I’m not sure. Regardless the Reds have won three in a row for the first time in over a month. They’ve crept out of the cellar (man, what’s happened to Houston?), and hopefully they can begin working their way up the standings. They have a long way to go just to get back to .500, so that’s the more immediate goal.
After that, we’ll see. But at this point, I’d be happy if they played .500 the rest of the way and finished with 76 wins.
May 25, 1975 Reds 4, Phillies 3 (24-20)
This was one those games where the Reds went up early, only to have the opposition come back and make it tight. Cesar Geronimo came up big for the Reds in the bottom of the third, getting a three run double off of Phillies’ starter Jim Lonborg. The Reds added a run in the fourth on a solo shot by George Foster, his seventh homer of the season.
Reds’ starter Clay Kirby pitched a nice game, but eventually let the Phils back into the game. He gave up only six hits and one walk in 7 2/3 innings, but he gave up three runs to make the game a tight one. Rawly Eastwick finished up the game to earn his first save of the season.
May 24, 1975 Reds 3, Phillies 2 (23-20)
With the Reds down 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Johnny Bench shaved the lead down to a run with a solo shot. He struck again in the bottom of the eighth with his second solo homer of the game, sending things into extra innings.
In the bottom of the eleventh, Joe Morgan singled to drive in the winning run to extend the Reds winning streak to three.
The Reds got some excellent relief throughout the game. Pedro Borbon, Rawly Eastwick, and Clay Carroll combined for 6 1/3 shutout innings. They gave up only three hits, no walks, and they struck out five.
May 23, 1975 Reds 5, Phillies 2 (22-20)