Thursday, July 22, 1999
Reds' pitchers too good for McGwire
Williamson fans him in 9th
BY JOHN FAY
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Mark McGwire, the best home run hitter of this generation, attributes the fact that he has never hit a homer in Cinergy Field to one factor: good pitching.
Jason LaRue blocks the ball as Mark McGwire strikes out in the ninth inning.
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That was the case again Wednesday, when the Reds held McGwire homerless and his St. Louis Cardinals scoreless in a 1-0 victory.
McGwire was 0-for-4. So Cinergy remains the only stadium in which McGwire has played a regular-season game and not homered.
McGwire had a chance to win the game in the ninth. He faced Reds rookie reliever Scott Williamson with one out and the tying run at first. Williamson struck him out on four pitches.
I missed on the first two pitches, McGwire said. He was running the ball in on me.
McGwire also was impressed with Reds starter Ron Villone's one-hit eight innings.
He kept guys off balance, McGwire said.
McGwire is 4-for-24 lifetime at Cinergy, including the 1988 All-Star Game and the 1990 World Series. He has his share of walks; his four at-bats Wednesday gave him 35 plate appearances at Cinergy.
McGwire hit a couple of hard shots Wednesday. He smoked a line drive to left in the third and hit a high fly ball to the warning track in right in sixth.
McGwire came in hot. He had five home runs in his last seven games entering the two-game series here to move into second place in the National League in home runs. He has 32 homers, two behind the Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa. The 32 home runs means McGwire has averaged 50 homers over five-year period. Babe Ruth is the only other player to do that.
McGwire had no trouble hitting it out in batting practice. He took 21 swings in BP and left the yard 11 times. None of the homers was cheap.