Reds eye season sweep

Sunday, August 30, 1998

The Cincinnati Enquirer

The 1998 Reds can do something the 1975 and '76 Reds never did.

Florida has lost all eight games against the Reds this year. Since 1990, the Reds have not swept a season series with a National League opponent.

They can do that with a win today.

That record says a lot about the kind of year the Reds are having. They great against the bad teams and bad against the great teams. Consider: The Reds are 6-24 against the National League division leaders: Atlanta, 2-7; Houston, 3-6; and San Diego, 1-11; the Reds are 58-48 otherwise.

"What does that tell you?" Barry Larkin said. "There's a disparity there. The teams that are spending money are winning." The Reds have won three in a row and seven of eight. They are starting to creep up in the standings.

They moved a half game ahead of St. Louis and into fifth place Saturday. Pittsburgh and Milwaukee are also within 1 1/2 games, depending on Saturday's late results.

"We're proving all those people who said we were going to loss 100 games wrong," manager Jack McKeon said. "We've already done that."

Make room for Mac

Reds publicity director Rob Butcher is clearing out room and making arrangements in case Mark McGwire comes to town within reach of Roger Maris' home run record.

The media turnout will be considerable regardless. But, if McGwire is at 58 or above, Major League Baseball told Butcher to expect up to 500 members for the Reds' two-game series with McGwire's St. Louis Cardinals Sept. 9 and 10.

"We're going to turn the dining room into a press box," Butcher said. "We're also going to use the football visiting lockerroom and the band room."

The problem is because it's a regular game there are no outside seats available to be used for the media. That is where the overflow from the press box goes during the World Series and the playoffs. "The problem is every section has some seats sold in it," Butcher said. "We can't displace those people."

Butcher may be able to use the new seats in the yellow section that are used for special groups. Those have not been sold.

Speaking of which, Butcher said there are plenty of tickets available for both games.

"We've sold more than usual," he said. "But we're not close to selling out."

On crutches

Eduardo Perez was getting around the locker room before Saturday's game on a pair of crutches. Perez strained his left hip flexor trying to score from first base on Aaron Boone's double Friday.

"I can walk without them (the crutches)," Perez said. "But I can move faster with them."

How long Perez will be out remains to be seen.

"It could be a while," trainer Greg Lynn said. "It depends on how it reacts."

The disabled list?

"It's a possibility," Lynn said.

Proud papa

Mike Remlinger's wife, Ronelle, had a8-pound, 14-ounce baby boy Friday night. The couple named him -- their first -- Chance Ryan.

Young at bat

Dmitri Young is in his first extended slump of the season. Young was 1-for-12 in the homestand before getting three hits Friday night.

Young, who went from April 28 to Aug. 20 above the .300 mark, entered Saturday's game at .297.

"I'm not worried about my average," Young said. "I'm worried about my swing. When I get that straightened out, the average will take care of itself."

Young has gone back to a simple approach: See the ball and be aggressive. Young's mini-slump has allowed Houston's Craig Biggio and Dante Bichette and Larry Walker of Colorado to catch him in the doubles races. Those four were tied atop the National League with 42 each, entering Saturday's game. Young's doubles are the most by a Red since Dave Parker had 42 in 1985.

Up next

The Reds wrap up the series with the Marlins today. Left-hander Dennis Reyes (2-4, 3.81 ERA) takes on RHP Rafael Medina (1-1, 6.21) at 1:15 p.m.

Reyes has not won since beating Milwaukee in his second start on Aug. 8.

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