July 24, 1976 at Fulton County Stadium
Braves 5, Reds 4 (59-26)
The Reds came from behind to tie the game up in the top of the eighth only to have the Braves score on to win it. Pat Zachry was mediocre in his start and gave up four runs on six hits in five innings. Pedro Borbon allowed the Reds to get back into the game by pitching two scoreless innings, but he was pulled and Rich Hinton gave up the go ahead run.
July 24, 1976 at Fulton County Stadium
Reds 6, Braves 3 (60-26)
The Reds managed a split with the Braves in their doubleheader and got some help with three errors by the Braves. Don Gullett improved to 7-3 on the season. He gave up two runs on five hits and six walks with three strikeouts. Jack Billingham gave up a single run in 2 2/3 innings to notch his first save of the season.
August 10, 1976 at Wrigley Field
Cubs 6, Reds 3 (73-40)
The Cubs snapped the Reds four game winning streak as Gary Nolan was hit hard at Wrigley Field. He dropped to 10-7 on the season and gave up six runs on twelve hits in six innings of work.
With the Reds hanging on to a pretty thin margin in the Wild Card race, every series is important. The Reds are in the drivers seat, but after today’s loss (as of about 5 pm EDT), the Giants and Padres trailed the Reds by only a single game. Nine teams are within six games so any time we play a team in the National League, there’s a chance someone will be moving up and someone will be moving down for that fourth playoff spot.
On Friday, Gary Majewski had his first relief appearance for the Reds in which he didn’t give up a run. He threw a shutout ninth and picked up the win. Bill Bray got the job done in the eighth. So while it’s hard to say how the exchange of hitters has affected the team, the new relievers won their first game versus costing us one game earlier in the week. Ken Griffey, Jr. was the hero. He singled home the tying and go ahead run in the bottom of the ninth to win it. Edwin Encarncion also had two RBIs and Brandon Phillips had two hits and a run.
Ryan Freel was the hero in Saturday’s game. He homered twice and drove in three runs. Sean Hatteberg had three hits, including a homerun, and he drove in three runs. Todd Coffey picked up the win and Eddie Guardado picked up the save.
Today, the Reds were shut down. One run on five hits, and the only run came on a Brandon Phillies solo homerun late in the game. Eric Milton didn’t throw too bad, but he picked up his sixth loss of the season. This won’t show up in the box score, but Gary Majewski came in with two men on and two out and gave up three consecutive singles and two runs, both of which were credited to Milton. Yeah, he was worth Austin Kearns. And yes, I have it out for the guy until he starts showing me a 2004 Brad Lidge imitation.
The Reds get the day off before heading to Houston for three. We’re getting close to August, and we’re saying “playoffs” and “Reds” in the same sentence. They just have to keep on getting the job done like they did this weekend.
July 23, 1976 at Fulton County Stadium
Reds 3, Braves 1 (59-25)
Rookie starter Santo Alcala was solid and the Reds scored two runs in the eighth to win this one. Alcalca improved to 9-2 with the complete game and gave up one run on seven hits and five walks with four strikeouts.
July 21, 1976 at Riverfront Stadium
Reds 4, Mets 0 (58-25)
Fred Norman threw a four hit shutout and the Reds offense scattered four runs in four different innings to even their series with the Mets. Norman improved to 8-2 and struck out four batters.
Alright, I know this was the NL leading Mets, but you’d think that for what we gave up, guys like Gary Majewski would be shut down relievers. That’s why I was surprised (actually, I wasn’t) when I saw last night that one of our golden arms that we traded for took the loss in yesterday’s extra inning game. Rumor has it that Adam Dunn is going to be traded for Rafael Soriano. The price is so high because Soriano is actually a good reliever.
Eric Milton reverted back to his old ways and gave up three dingers on Tuesday. It was nice to see the other golden arm we got in that trade, Bill Bray, gave up a run in garbage time. Very encouraging. The offense got on base 15 times (ten hits, five walks) but grounded into three double plays.
Wednesday, was a carbon copy of the day before. Ten hits and five walks. Only this time, the Reds put seven runs on board.
And then yesterday was the extra inning game. Bronson Arroyo gave up two solo homeruns and those came back to haunt him. That, and the bullpen. This time we got ten hits and six walks but we left 12 runners on base.
The good news is, we’re still in the driver’s seat for the wild card. The Giants have popped their heads into the mix and they trail the Reds by a game. Next up for the Reds is a three game set with the Brewers.
July 20, 1976 at Riverfront Stadium
Mets 2, Reds 1 (57-25)
Gary Nolan was effective but he took the loss without any run support. He dropped to 8-5 and gave up two runs on eight hits with four strikeouts.
July 19, 1976 at Three Rivers Stadium
Reds 4, Pirates 2 (57-24)
The Reds won their fourth straight behind a strong outing by Pat Zachry. Zachry went the distance and improved to 8-3 on the season. He gave up two runs (both solo homers) on five hits with three strikeouts.
July 18, 1976 at Three Rivers Stadium
Reds 9, Pirates 8 (56-24)
The Reds made it three in a row but they almost blew a big lead. With a score of 9-3, the Pirates scored two in the eighth and three in the ninth to cut the lead to a single run, but Rawly Eastwick got Manny Sanguillen to ground out to end the game.
Jack Billingham improved to 7-7 on the season with 3 1/3 innings of relief. Eastwick earned his tenth save of the season.
Joe Morgan homered for the second straight day. He drove in two runs, scored twice and stole his 25th base of the season. George Foster went three for five and Cesar Geronimo had two hits and two runs.
July 17, 1976 at Riverfront Stadium
Reds 4, Expos 1 (55-24)
The Reds won their second straight game as rookie starter Santo Alcala threw a five hitter. The lone blemish against him was a solo homerun and he struck out seven.
Joe Morgan accounted for most of the offense with a three run shot in the first inning. It was his sixteenth homerun of the season.