Sunday, August 13, 2006

Reds Finally Defeat Phillies

After some really boring games the last time the two teams met up, the Reds and Phillies actually provided some edge-of-your-seat entertainment in this series. 14 innings for Friday, which were exciting until the Phillies had to go and win the game. Using every available pitcher in the bullpen plus a few starters was also entertaining, though ultimately problematic for Elizardo Ramirez. Saturday, after a very disappointing inning and a third for the Lizard Man, Chris Michalak (I feel compelled to inform you that the "c" in his name is a mirage, because everyone else mentioned it, too) put on one heck of a show. It seems most people don't think he'll repeat the performance. I'm going to err on the side of reckless optimism and assume he'll do it a few more times. Sunday was another extra-innings nail biter, punctuated by battles between my uncle and I over whether or not the Reds suck. The Reds won the battle for me in the 11th inning, also winning the game and thus the series. Wahoo!

Now you get recaps of some sort because I get some kind of extra joy out of beating the Phillies compared to beating any other team (save the Cardinals and the Yankees).

Friday Kyle Lohse, who also spells his name differently than he pronounces it (as if I have room to talk about funny name spellings), gave up just one run over 6 1/3 innings and struck out 8. Good job Kyle! Bill Bray, unfortunately, got knocked around a bit, giving up 3 runs in his 2/3 of an inning. Not so good a job Bill! Eddie Guardado and Elizardo Ramirez gave up a run each, Ramirez got stuck with the eventual loss, as his one run was the Phillies' winning run in the 14th inning. Encarnacion had 2 home runs and Valentin had another (something he's been very good at lately). All of the Reds runs were scored on these home runs. Unfortunately, the Phillies had one more run up their sleeves than the Reds. They held onto it until the 14th inning, when Aaron Rowand hit one to center off Ramirez and David Dellucci scored.

Ramirez came back on Saturday to start, which turned out to be a bad idea. Brave and commendable in theory on his part to even try, but very bad in practice. After 1 1/3 innings and 5 runs, poor Mr. Lizard was pulled from the game and shortly returned to Louisville. Chris Michalak came to the rescue, and rescue the Reds he did. The Phillies managed just one run off of him in 6 2/3 innings. Quite a Reds debut for him. The offense was alive once again, scoring 6 runs in the first 4 innings. With the exceptions of Dunn and Griffey, everybody had a hit. Freel, Hatteberg, Valentin and Phillips all had multiple hits. One of Phillips's was a home run in the 4th. The Reds entered the bottom of the 8th up 6-5, where Michalak gave up his one run, a home run to reigning Home Run Derby King Ryan Howard. Tied at 6 going into the 9th, the Reds decided they wanted to win this one within 9 innings. Luckily the Phillies used Rick White to pitch and the Reds put up 3 runs on singles from Encarnacion, Valentin and Phillips. Eddie Guardado gave up a run in the bottom of the 9th, and then with 2 on and Ryan Howard batting, it appeared that all might be lost, but Howard failed to work his home run magic and instead struck out, giving Cincinnati their first win against the Phillies this year, a 9-7 victory.

Today Eric Milton took on Brett Myers. It seems that I was playing the part of bad luck charm today, as every bit of the game I saw was something good happening for the Phillies, and thus bad for the Reds. So, I watched a bit of everything else that was on television (including NASCAR) to avoid feeling responsible for a loss I really had no control over. It worked, as the Reds won 7-5 in 11 innings. Encarnacion, Dunn and Aurilia hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the 6th (which is something ESPNews failed to mention in their little story, I might add). The Reds were up 5-3 in the 9th, when Eddie Guardado allowed 2 runs, and the Phillies tied the game, and it went to extra innings for the second time in the series. This time Cincinnati came out the winners, scoring 2 runs on a double from pinch hitting Juan Castro. Interesting choice for pinch hitter if you ask me, but it worked, so no complaints. It seems Milton had a not too awful start again, though he only made it through 5 1/3 innings, so maybe it was kind of awful. I didn't really see him. Coffey, Cormier, Weathers and Bray all worked hitless innings or parts thereof. I seem to recall hearing that Brett Myers is a bit of a Reds killer in the pitching department, so it's nice to see that he didn't do that today.

Now, thanks to the Pirates' sweep of the Cardinals (HAHAHA!), the Reds are a mere game and a half back of 1st place going into another series with St. Louis. The ESPN types seem to think Cincinnati has a pretty good shot at overtaking the Cardinals in the division (glad to see they're finally on board, bandwagon bunch of jerks (I've got a thing against national media, just so you all know)). Hopefully they are entirely demoralized and falling apart because of the sweep, and not about to become a holy terror born of vengeance. We find out on Tuesday, when Harang and Carpenter face off in St. Louis.

Oh yes! Along with Elizardo going back to Louisville, Mr. Kent Mercker has been put on the DL yet again (the reason Michalak is with the Reds), and this time it might be the end of the road for his career. That's too bad.

2 comments:

DevilsAdvocate said...

Why extra joy for beating the Phillies?

Milton ought to bring back the beard. Hearkens back to earlier in the season when he was pitching better. Plus that goatee is ugly.

Jacci and/or Christina said...

I'm not sure why. Kind of like I'm not sure why I dislike the Yankees so much. I just do.

I don't know about Milton's beard. Changing hair didn't help Arroyo very much.