September 29, 1976 at San Diego Stadium
Padres 6, Reds 1 (100-59)
Fred Norman gave up six runs (five earned) on five hits and three walks. He dropped to 12-7 on the season.
By Thaq Diesel
The Cardinals are indeed doing an impersonation of the 1987 Blue Jays. In fact, St. Louis may be heading toward one of the worst collapses of all time to end a season. Sadly, the Astros are capitalizing on it more than the Reds to this point, but we’re three games (well with the St. Louis optional game on Monday, 3.5 games) away from the end of the season and Cincinnati is still not eliminated from the playoffs. It’s tougher now, however; Houston needs to simmer down and quit winning so much and St. Louis needs to continue to pull the noose tighter. Two variables. Well and the Reds need to win every game, so three variables. I realize now that they HAVE to win just how uncertain the Reds pitching staff is. At least the Reds have Harang and Arroyo starting the next two days. That’s a good start.
In case you were wondering, the real reason the Reds are still alive has to do with my shower – bear with me here. Our laundry is piling up and I realized that we were basically out of towels Sunday morning. So I went to the beach towel, which is – you guessed it – my Cincinnati Reds towel. Since then, the Reds are 4-1. I’ve told everyone in my family to not touch the towel under any circumstances. If the Reds do make the playoffs, the towel could get kinda stale. I guess we’ll deal with that if it happens. I’m willing to take one for the team.
The Reds signed Juan Castro. With Castro, the Reds get great defense and a great clubhouse leader. His batting is below average (pretty weak career OBP @.271) so it’s somewhat of a push there. He is a known quantity.
September 28, 1976 at San Diego Stadium
Reds 5, Padres 4 (100-58)
For the second straight season the Cincinnati Reds won 100 times during the regular season. It was the franchise’s first back to back 100 win seasons in it’s storied history. Jack Billingham walked away with the win despite Will McEnaney almost blowing the lead in the ninth. Rawly Eastwick saved his 26th game of the season.
September 27, 1976 at San Diego Stadium
Padres 5, Reds 3 (99-58)
Santo Alcala gave up three runs in the bottom of the eighth and blew a one run lead late in the game as the Reds lost to the Padres. Alcala dropped to 11-4 on the season. Don Gullett didn’t get a decision, and he gave up two runs on five hits and four walks in seven innings of work.
September 26, 1976 at Dodger Stadium
Dodgers 2, Reds 1 (99-57)
Pat Zachry took the loss despite having a solid start. He gave up two runs on five hits and four walks with three strikeouts in six innings.
The Reds enter their final week and like every other year in this decade, the Reds fell short of a post season appearance. While they finished closer then they have in recent memory, the late season collapse was particularly troubling. The Reds did finish their home schedule though and fans who showed up to the ball park had a better then even chance of seeing a win. At least that’s one thing to build on.
This was a weird year. The Reds seem to strike gold with the Bronson Arroyo and Brandon Phillips trade. Then they flushed it down the toilet in grand fashion when they traded two guys who could have been the cornerstone of a championship team. Yes, that trade. No Austin Kearns and no Felipe Lopez. Instead we get Juan “.610 career OPS” Castro for two more years. The word vomit comes to mind.
And then there’s Adam Dunn. They have yet to come up with a long term deal for the slugger which then brings up the question of whether the Reds want him. Another pertinent question is, does Adam Dunn want the Reds.
If the Reds finish 5-1 the rest of the way, they’ll finish with a winning record for the first time since 2000. That was Ken Griffey, Jr.’s first and only full season since joining the Reds.
September 25, 1976 at Dodger Stadium
Reds 4, Dodgers 3 (99-56)
The Reds pulled to within one win of one hundred as they edged the Dodgers. Tony Perez hit a big seventh inning homerun that tied the game at 2-2 and the Reds then took the lead in the top of the eighth with two more. Ken Griffey went two for four with a run and an RBI.
Gary Nolan improved his win total to 14 and he gave up two runs on eight hits with four strikeouts in seven innings of work. Pedro Borbon gave up a single run in the last two innings but earned his eighth save of the season.
By Thaq Diesel
I’m reminded of the 1987 Toronto Blue Jays, who choked away the final seven games of the season to miss the playoffs in lieu of the Detroit Tigers. In my twisted mind, I’m substituting “Cincinnati” for “Detroit” and St. Louis for Toronto. It will probably be Houston playing the role of Detroit if it happens at all. Still, a boy can dream.
September 24, 1976 at Dodger Stadium
Dodgers 7, Reds 6 (98-56)
The Reds came back and took the lead with three runs after being down 5-3 only to have Will McEnaney give up two runs in the bottom of the ninth to lose it. McEnaney took his sixth loss of the season.
September 22, 1976 at Riverfront Stadium
Reds 4, Padres 3 (98-55)
The Reds edged the Padres and are two wins away from winning 100 games in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history. Don Gullett improved to 10-3 with the win and he gave up three runs on twelve hits in eight innings of work. He neither struck out a Padres nor did walk one.