August 23, 1975 Reds 12, Pirates 7 (84-43)
The Reds erased a four run deficit and exploded for eight runs in the fifth inning to snap their four game skid. Johnny Bench drove in three of those runs with his 24th homer of the season and the Reds capitalized on two Pirates errors in the inning. They added four more in the eighth to finish up the blowout. The Reds had nine of their ten hits in those two innings.
Starter Don Gullett got roughed up in his second start back from his injury. He walked six and gave up five hits in 3 2/3 innings of work. Rawly Eastwick pitched the final 1 2/3 to earn his 15th save of the season.
August 22, 1975 Pirates 7, Reds 2 (83-42)
The difference in this game was the five runs Jack Billingham gave up in the sixth inning as he dropped to 14-6. Pedro Borbon did a nice job pitching the final 2 2/3, but the Reds couldn’t get their bats going to stage a comeback.
August 22, 1975 Pirates 4, Reds 2 (83-43)
Neither team scored until the eighth inning when the Reds scored two in the top of the eighth on a Tony Perez two run homer. The Pirates unfortunately answered in the bottom half of the inning with four runs, with the go ahead runs being scored on a two run shot by Dave Parker.
In all, the Reds only managed four hits off of rookie phenom John Candelaria. The future 20 game winner would be pivotal in the Pirates run down the stretch as they were looked to be the likely playoff opponent for the Reds.
August 20, 1975 Cardinals 4, Reds 0 (83-41)
For the second straight game, the Reds could only manage four hits. Even worse then yesterday, they were shutout. Four different Reds scattered singles in four different innings.
A solid start by Fred Norman went to waste. He pitched seven innings and have up three runs on eight hits.
August 19, 1975 Cardinals 2, Reds 1 (83-40)
In all, the Reds only managed four hits and one walk. Three of their hits came in the first two innings so they were completely shut down in the final seven frames.
Starter Gary Nolan got out of several jams as he gave up twelve hits but only two runs in seven innings of work. He dropped to 11-7 on the season.
Felipe Lopez now has three homers since the All Star Break and his post-break OPS is .668. That’s a slump.
Ken Griffey, Jr. hit his 530rd career homer. I think Mays still might be within reach. It’s a stretch, but if Griffey plays five more years, that’s like 25 homers a year. Not out of the realm of possibility. In fact the way Sosa is playing, he very well could end up ahead of him. At least we’re not comparing him to Jimmie Foxx anymore.
The Reds dropped three of four to the Giants. The lost in a lot of different ways. They lost the one run game yesterday, and the two run high scoring game the night before. They even got blown out on Monday. Too make matters worse, Ryan Freel is back on the disabled list.
The Diamondbacks are on deck. What’s really sad is if we played in the NL West, we’d be only five games back of the Padres. The Diamondbacks are in second place and they’d be a game ahead of us.
Also, the Ken Griffey, Jr. trade watch continues. I keep hearing the White Sox, who have lost Scott Podsednik. I’m not sure if they’d be willing to part with Brandon McCarthy, who was one of the top pitching prospects to start the season. Unfortunately, he looks like the second coming of Eric Milton. He’s given up 16 homers in 107 2/3 innings down in AAA. He’s also struck out 118.
August 18, 1975 Reds 3, Cardinals 2 (83-39)
Don Gullett made his return and the Reds managed to hold off a late rally by the Cardinals to win their ninth straight game. With the Reds up 3-0, the Cards got single runs in both of the eighth and ninth innings, but they came up short when Rawly Eastwick got the final two outs with the bases loaded to end the game.
August 17, 1975 Reds 3, Pirates 1 (82-39)
The Reds finished their sweep of the Pirates with a very strong outing by Pat Darcy. Darcy threw 7 1/3 innings of three hit ball before he yielded to the pen. Clay Carroll, Will McEnaney and Rawly Eastwick then combined to throw the final 1 2/3 and gave up only one hit.
The Reds only managed six singles but they made them count. Three of the hits came in Reds seventh when they added two runs to their modest 1-0 lead. Pete Rose drove in one of those runs with his 2,500 career hit.
Not only did the Reds make short work of the Pirates, but they also helped out the Philadelphia Phillies. Going into the four game series, the Pirates led the Phillies by three games but by the time the Reds were done with them, the lead was cut down to a mere half game.
August 16, 1975 Reds 5, Pirates 3 (81-39)
The Reds won their seventh straight game and their third straight against the NL East leading Pirates. With the game tied at 2-2, Tony Perez and Cesar Geronimo both homered in the eigth to give the Reds a 5-2 cushion. The Pirates threatened in the ninth by tagging starter Jack Billingham for a run, but Will McEnaney and Rawly Eastwick got the second and third outs respectively to end the threat.
Billingham went 8 1/3 and gave up three runs on nine hits. He improved to 14-5.
August 15, 1975 Reds 8, Pirates 3 (80-39)
The Reds got off to a quick start as they put six runs on the board in the first inning en route to their 80th win of the season. Starter Fred Norman helped out his own his own cause by driving in two of those six runs with a single.
Fred Norman went the distance and earned his eighth win of the season. He gave up only seven hits and three runs and he struck out six.
Nine games below .500 (sorry for the mistake last week, I was getting ahead of myself). I always hate to use artificial benchmarks (I know, anything short of a championship is a failure, blah, blah), but if this team could crawl back to .500, it would be, well, huge. It’s at least something to build on for next season.
Luke Hudson and Austin Kearns got things rolling on Friday. Hudson threw six solid innings and the pen did their job. Hudson even got his ERA below 7.50. Woo hoo. Austin Kearns had two hits and an RBI.
Yesterday can only be explained by some freakish alternate reality thing. If you combined all of the Star Trek captains into one committee, even they wouldn’t be able to figure this one out. A two freaking hitter??!! Yes, Ramon Ortiz and three relievers combined to throw a two hitter. On offense, Ryan Freel had just as many hits (2) and twice as many RBIs (2) as the Brewers entire team.
Unfortunately, it all came to end today. The Reds lost. I know, it’s hard to believe. Ken Griffey did hit his 26th homer. Five hits just isn’t going to cut it though. Brandon Claussen did his job, but the pen finally ran out of gas.
Or something. A five run eighth blew the tie game wide open. I guess you can’t win them all.
The Giants roll into town. We’re actually four games better then they are. Although I think the Reds need to be the spoiler to win. This series doesn’t mean much.