Archive for April, 2006


Johnny Bench’s Two Homeruns Lead the Way in Win Over Expos

April 30, 1976 at Riverfront Stadium 

Reds 7, Expos 2  (10-7)

Gary Nolan’s had a strong outing for the Reds as they topped the Expos.  Nolan gave up two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts in eight innings of work.  Rawly Eastwick pitched a perfect ninth to close out the game.

Johnny Bench went yard twice, drove in three runs and scored twice.



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Reds Pitching Continues to Struggle in Loss to Phillies

April 28, 1976 at Veterans Stadium 

Phillies 7, Reds 6  (9-7)

The Reds lost another game as their pitching staff failed to hold the opposition down again.  The Reds and Phillies both scored three runs in the first inning, but a three run fifth by the Phillies ended up being the difference.

Joe Morgan had a monster game.  He went two for four with his fourth homerun of the season, three RBIs, two runs and a walk.  Johnny Bench doubled and tripled and drove in a run.

Pat Darcy dropped to 1-2 on the season.  He gave up seven runs on seven hits and five walks.



End of April Reds Report

By Thaq Diesel 

Bottom line:  The Reds are tied for the second-best record in the majors.  They are on a pace to win 100 games (as are two other teams in their division, so somebody has to slip).  They have hit more home runs than anyone in MLB. They led the league in runs until the Indians opened up a can on the Red Sox today.  And this with Griffey on the DL for half the month. 

 Their pitching has been hot and cold ranging from spectacular (Arroyo, Harang occasionally, Weathers as closer) to miserable like when they gave up five home runs in one inning to the Brewers (tying a major league record).  The Reds have had call-ups from the minors  (Elizardo Ramirez- finally a pitcher that throws first pitch strikes and keeps the ball down!!!) make quality starts and get wins.  Paul Wilson is starting his comeback.  Ryan Wagner is in the wings.  It looked like the cupboard was bare when the spring started, but there are two quality starters to build on and the closing role seems solid. 

Brandon Phillips has emerged as the obvious choice to start full-time at second and is producing both offensively and defensively.  The Reds have three talented catchers (and that’s not even counting Hatteberg).   

It’s a good omen that the Reds can seemingly steal like bandits in making the Arroyo deal for Wily Mo.  You start to think that karma is starting to swing around to the good side.  Based on their track record, the new ownership will definitely make moves shoring up the bullpen if the Reds are still contending in June.

It has been a long dry spell.  Let’s enjoy a successful and entertaining April and hope for the best for the rest of the season.



Johnny Bench Powers Reds to Win Over Phillies

April 27, 1976 at Veterans Stadium 

Reds 7, Phillies 3  (9-6)

The Reds’ bats stayed hot as they topped the Phillies with a quick start.  The Reds scored five in the first and two in the second to effectively end the game early.

Johnny Bench went three for four with two doubles, two RBIs and a run.  Pete Rose had two hits and two runs and Dave Concepcion had three hits and a run.

Jack Billingham cruised to an easy win and improved to 2-2.  He gave up three runs on eight hits in 7 2/3 innings of work.  Will McEnaney held the Phillies scoreless in 1 1/3 innings.



Phillies Outhit Reds in High Scoring Affair

April 26, 1976 at Veteran’s Stadium 

Phillies 10, Reds 9  (8-6)

The Phillies edged the Reds in a game that saw the two teams combine for 19 runs and 29 hits.  The Phillies jumped out to a 6-1 lead and saw it disappear when the Reds scored five runs in the sixth.  The Reds added three in the seventh to take a two run lead, but the Phillies tied it up in the bottom of the seventh, then scored a single run to take the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth.

Pete Rose went four for six with four RBIs and Youngblood went four for five with tw runs.  George Foster his his second homerun of the season and Bob Bailey hit his first.

The pitching lines were pretty ugly.  Fred Norman gave up six runs on nine hits in four innings.  Rawly Eastwick took the loss and gave up the three late runs on two hits.



Hasta La Vista Tony Womack

I’m Back!!!

Thaq and Brian held down the fort admirably while I took some time off.  I headed up north for some much needed rest and relaxation.  And while I was sleeping in a tent, I was never that far away to where I couldn’t keep tabs on the Reds.

The Tony Womack era had ended after only 18 at bats.  The recent emergence of Brandon Phillips (NL player of the week) made Womack expendable, and the trade for Cody Ross sealed the deal.  I saw Ross play here in Detroit a few times and he was a fan favorite.  Unfortunately the team had a log jam of outfielders so they sent him out west.  He had a solid season last year in Triple A and actually got off to a nice start this year for the Dodgers.  He became expendable when Nomar came off the disabled list.

Adam Dunn is off to a typical start.  He’s hitting just below .250 and he has almost as many walks (22) as he does strikeouts (28).  His OPS is still above 1.000, which is the key.  It looks like it’s going to be another great season for the future Hall of Famer.

I knew Austin Kearns could do it.  And while I know there’s still a ton of games left, he’s hitting over .300 with some power.  His strikeout to walk ratio (20/5) isn’t much to write home about but he already has twelve extra base hits.

You also have to be happy with Edwin Encarncion’s start.  He’s walked eleven times versus nine walks, and his OPS is on the north side of .900.  He also leads the team in RBIs with 18 and that was before the four he’s driven in tonight.

On the pitching side, Bronson Arroyo is the stud.  He stands at 3-0 and has a miniscule 3.04 ERA.  The team is still giving up well over five earned runs a game, but Arroyo is getting the job done.

More importantly, the Reds are in second place in the standings.  They’re 12-7 and they are well on their way to winning today’s game.  They’re only a half game back of the Astros, who are also winning tonight.

Regardless, you have to be happy with the Reds so far.  If you would have told me the team would start 13-7, I would have jumped all over it.  It helps when your team leads the major leagues in runs scored and homeruns.



Don Gullet and Pat Darcy Combine to Shutout Expos

April 25, 1976 at Jerry Park 

Reds 7, Expos 0  (8-5)

The Reds won their three game series with the Expos behind strong outings by Don Gullett and Pat Darcy.  Gullett three six shutout innings and gave up five hits and Darcy three three shutout innings and gave up two hits.

Johnny Bench and Dave Concepcion both hit their second homeruns of the season and they both drove in two runs.  Ken Griffey went three for four with two RBIs and a run and Pete Rose had three hits and three runs.



Reds Edge Expos in Extra Innings

April 24, 1976 at Jerry Park 

Reds 6, Expos 4  (7-5)

The Reds won in their first extra inning game of the season in a back and forth game with the Expos.  The Expos jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the fourth but then the Reds scored one in the fifth and three in the sixth to take the lead.  The Expos got back into things in the bottom of the sixth when they scored a single run to cut the lead to one, then tied the game up with another run in the seventh.

Neither team scored in the eighth, ninth or tenth.  In the top of the eleventh, Dan Driessen led off with a single and then he moved to second when Johnny Bench reached first on third basemen Larry Parrish’s error.  Mike Lum bunted both players over and then Cesar Geronimo was walked intentionally.  Then Dave Concepcion came through with a huge clutch single that scored both Driessen and Bench. 

Rawly Eastwick put the Expos down in order in the bottom half of the inning en route to his first win of the season.  He pitched three perfect innings to close out the game.



Reds Take 3 of 4 from Brewers – Harang, Brandon Phillips Brilliant

By Thaq Diesel 

The Reds took three of four from the Brew crew and in the process exchanged a couple yin-yang 11-0 butt kickings.

A quote from the AP story about Sunday’s game:
“Brandon Phillips has had an outstanding week,” Narron said. “I don’t know how many guys are going to have 17 RBI in a week.”

As a way to ensure 17 RBI doesn’t happen again, Narron has decided to sit Phillips for a few games to work the platoon system at 2nd base as originally designed.  Okay, that was a cheap shot.  Still, I found myself thinking while mowing the lawn today that Narron would most certainly pull “The Freel Manuever” and sit down a hot player.  Nay, Phillips looks like he’s actually realizing the potential the Expos saw in him when he was first drafted.  Barring a crushing slump of 15 or 20 games, let him stay in place at 2nd.  (I’m sure many of you thought the “Freel Manuever” was either to chug a 12-pack on the drive home or to swing a pool stick at someone.  Good guess, but no.)

Aaron Harang’s start today has me grateful that the Reds now have two bona-fide starting pitchers on this staff (Arroyo clearly the other).  Both have been a pleasant surprise.  Other than Todd Coffey and David Weathers, the rest of the staff has been poor as expected with the middle relief being unbelievably bad.  Perhaps a couple more pitchers can settle down and give the Reds offense a chance to muscle out some more games.  We will see tomorrow what Elizardo Ramirez (up from AAA Louisville) can do.  He’ll be starting now that Eric Milton ($9.8 million in 2006 salary, BTW) is giving up home run balls only on his PS2 for the next couple weeks as he deals with a knee injury and disabled list stint.  Despite the rough pitching start to the year, the complete game gem pitched by Harang today against the Brewers (as well as the shut out work on 4/14 at St. Louis) is something to be savored. 



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