Wednesday, September 01, 1999
BRAVES 8 REDS 2
Guzman has 1st bad outing
BY JOHN FAY
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Juan Guzman had his worst game as a Red against the guy who has been the best pitcher of the 1990s.
Juan Guzman reacts after Eddie Perez' two-run HR in the fourth.
(Craig Ruttle photo)
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You can guess the result.
Braves 8, Reds 2.
Greg Maddux, pitching with a chipped bone in his pitching wrist, went seven innings, allowing six hits and walking none. The Reds' runs came on Mark Lewis' two-run homer after Maddux and much of the Cinergy Field crowd of 25,238 were gone.
The only drama in the late innings was whether Sean Casey would hit for the cycle. He didn't. He came up in the eighth needing a home run and walked instead.
The Reds fell 11/2 games behind the Houston Astros in the National League Central. Houston beat the New York Mets 6-2 Tuesday.
Guzman (4-2), who had won his last four decisions, went five innings, allowing nine hits and five runs. Guzman had not allowed more than three earned runs in his previous five starts for the Reds.
Gerald Williams' first-inning single drops between Jeffrey Hammonds and Barry Larkin.
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I feel bad for my teammates, Guzman said. I've been pitching so good. Then today when I needed to pitch a good game, I didn't have my good stuff.
The Braves have won 7-of-8 against the Reds this year.
finale against Atlanta is critical for the Reds, who have lost six of their last nine.
They're all big when you're a half game or a game-and-a half back, Reds manager Jack McKeon said. They're all tough with 30 games left.
The Braves had an advantage over the other National League teams Guzman has faced: They were familiar with him. He beat Atlanta 5-0 with Baltimore June 12 and lost to the Braves and Maddux 2-0 last year when he was with Toronto.
Maddux wasn't the dominating Maddux, who allowed one run and struck out 10 in going 2-0 against the Reds last year.
Pokey Reese takes a pickoff throw as Bret Boone dives back safely.
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Tuesday, he was good enough. The first four hits he allowed came with two outs. The Reds' best scoring chance against Maddux came in the sixth when Casey singled and Greg Vaughn doubled with one out. But Maddux got Michael Tucker on a called strike.
He's nasty, Casey said. His ball moves all over the place. When he gets in tight jams, he gets out of them.
It was Maddux's seventh straight win. He is 12-2 with a 2.47 ERA in his last 16 starts.
The Braves scored a run in the first and another in the third to go up 2-0.
The Reds got runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings. Casey hit a two-out double in the first, but Vaughn grounded out to end the inning. In the second, Jeffrey Hammonds and Jason LaRue hit back-to-back, two-out singles, but Maddux went behind the mound to make a nice play on Guzman's high chopper to get out of the inning. In the third, Casey hit a two-out triple, but Vaughn flied out foul to end the inning.
If we could have scored a few, it might have been a different story, McKeon said.
Instead, the Reds and Guzman slipped deeper in the hole in the fourth. Reds killer Andruw Jones led off the inning with a double. That made Jones 8-for-15 in his last five games vs. the Reds. An out later, Eddie Perez hit his fifth home run of the season to make it 4-0.
The Braves tacked on a run in the sixth that made it 5-0. That's big because Maddux is 93-2 when he gets five or more runs since the 1991 All-Star Break.
Guzman knew he couldn't have an off night facing Maddux.
It was one of those days, Guzman said. You have to shake it off. My slider was bad. All the changeups I threw ... I didn't throw any for strikes.
The Braves added three runs off Stan Belinda in the seventh. Two came on Chipper Jones' two-run homer, his career-high 35th of the year.