Monday, June 05, 2006

One/Two More Park(s) To Go

There were only two National League ball parks the Reds hadn't had a sweep in before this weekend. Now there is only one (that being Turner Field). Actually, I believe the numbers were actually three and two. I'm fairly certain the stats FSN shared didn't include the new Busch Stadium. Anyway, sweeping the Astros crossed Minute Maid Park off the list.

14-3 was the score in Houston on Friday. Thrilling, that was. As I had hoped, Harang and the offense were much, much greater than Wandy Rodriguez (who made it through all of an inning and a third, giving up 8 runs on 6 hits). Harang allowed 2 runs through 6 innings. Hammond pitched a scoreless inning. Weathers continued to irritate me, giving up a home run in the 8th. Not that it mattered, I just wish he could make it through an inning without giving up a run. Estaban Yan pitched a shut-out 9th. Offensively, of the 14 runs, only 4 of them were scored on home runs. Brandon Phillips's solo in the 3rd, and a 3-run death blow from Dave Ross in the 9th (not that the Astros were in it at that point). The other 10 runs were scored on a series of small-ball plays that are too numerous to explain without risking boring you to tears. Just about everyone got to be involved in the run scoring, as one would expect with 14 runs.

Saturday was a 7-5 win. Arroyo started. After 6 innings, 8 hits and 2 runs (unearned-like) he was replaced by Hammond (1 inning, 1 hit, 1 more unearned run), who was then replaced by Weathers (WHO DIDN'T GIVE UP A RUN!!!) who was then replaced by Coffey (WHO GAVE UP 2 RUNS!?!). Arroyo picked up an RBI in the 3rd when he singled in Ross. Griffey homered in the 4th while the Astros picked up a few runs on Aurilia's error. Arroyo picked up another RBI in the 5th, this time doubling in Ross. Encarnacion doubled in the 6th to bring Aurilia and Dunn home. Arroyo picked up RBIs number 3 and 4 for the evening when he singled again, this time scoring Kearns and Encarnacion. An error from Encarnacion in the 7th and a sac fly and single in the 9th made up the rest of the scoring for the Astros and the score was at its final 7-5. Freel made a great catch to save the game at some point. We were out watching The Break-Up, so we missed it, but I hear it was spectacular.

Sunday was a pretty hefty battle for the sweep. Ramirez started for the Reds. Roy Oswalt was supposed to pitch for the Astros, but his back hurt. Instead it was Fernando Nieve. For the first time in the series the Astros scored first. It came in the form of a Morgan Ensberg home run in the 2nd. Freel responded with a home run of his own in the 3rd. The Reds went up in the 4th on Kearns's home run. The Astros tied it again in the 5th when Ausmus scored on Biggio's sacrifice, to which Kearns said "Home run number 2!" Reds up by 1 again. The Astros singled in another run in the 8th to tie the score once again, this time at 3. They made it through the 9th still tied and thus went into extra innings. Both teams scored a run in the 10th, so the game continued into the 11th, where Freel put up his 2nd home run of the game, a two-run homer. The Astros did not respond this time and the Reds recorded their first ever sweep in Minute Maid Park. The score, in case you weren't keeping track, was 6 to 4.

A series in St. Louis starts tonight. The Cards are fresh off a series loss to the Cubbies and sans Pujols. Jim Edmonds is replacing Poo-Holes and apparently having problems himself (particularly with running). Here's to kicking their asses.

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