Thursday, April 27, 2000
Reds 12, Mets 1
Reds snap four-game losing streak
By Chris Haft
The Cincinnati Enquirer
NEW YORK While inconsistency has been the only consistent aspect of the Reds' performance, Denny Neagle has emerged as the steadiest member of the team's embattled starting rotation.
Reds pitcher Denny Neagle throws a fastball to the Mets' Rickey Henderson in the first inning.
| ZOOM |
Neagle (2-0) stifled the New York Mets on two hits through seven shutout innings Wednesday night to help the Reds end their four-game losing streak with a 12-1 victory at soggy Shea Stadium.
Dmitri Young matched career highs with five RBI and four hits, missing a cycle when he was thrown out trying to stretch a seventh-inning double. Aaron Boone went 3-for-3 and Eddie Taubensee had three hits and three RBI to support Neagle further and halt New York's nine-game winning streak. The Reds' run total and 18 hits eclipsed their previous season bests of 11 and 15, respectively, established April 20 against San Francisco.
That happened to be the last game Cincinnati won until Wednesday.
It was also the last time Neagle pitched.
Maybe his presence and Cincinnati's success is more than just a coincidence.
Hopefully that can be contagious for the whole staff and for the rest of us (position) players as well, Boone said of Neagle's effort. You tend to play a lot better when you're throwing zeroes up there.
Dmitri Young, right, is congratulated by third base coach Ron Oester, left, after hitting a two-run home run.
| ZOOM |
The Reds, 9-11 overall, are 4-1 in Neagle's starts. He's the lone member of the
rotation to work at least five innings in each appearance. He has won his last eight decisions dating to last year.
Neagle struck out nine, his most as a Red, including eight in a 13-batter stretch between the end of the second inning and the beginning of the sixth. New York moved only three runners into scoring position against him.
Having allowed one run in 15 innings spanning his last two starts, Neagle believes he's peaking. Endurance-wise, I feel great, he said.
Despite Neagle's impressive strikeout total, he'll never be mistaken for Sandy Koufax, Steve Carlton or Randy Johnson. His fastball reached a maximum velocity of 86-87 mph. But that sufficed, since Neagle used his change-up and curveball as complements.
My location is getting better and better, he said. I feel like I'm hitting my spots the way I want to. Obviously, that's my style of game. If I can move the ball in and out and use my location, I'm generally going to have good results. That was the one thing I wasn't doing in spring training.
Hal Morris scores a run on a double by the Reds' Chris Stynes.
| ZOOM |
Neagle's exhibition season, in which he posted a 9.72 ERA, has become irrelevant. But other elements of Neagle's past might have helped him on a night when the gametime temperature was 43 degrees, the wind-chill dipped to 22 degrees and a constant drizzle drenched the participants.
I guess I'm used to it, Neagle said of the conditions. I grew up in Maryland, and high-school ball was like that. At the University of Minnesota, we had a lot of cold, ugly-weather games like that. So it's never bothered me.
Pitching at Shea has never bothered Neagle, either. He improved to 6-2 with a 2.11 ERA in 14 games here.
The Reds simplified matters for Neagle by roughing up Dennis Springer (0-1) for 13 hits in six-plus innings. That came as a pleasant surprise to Reds manager Jack McKeon, who thought the chill would mute both teams' offenses.
I didn't think there would be that many runs scored, McKeon said. It was miserable out there.
But as Young would say, It doesn't make a difference if it's 10 degrees or 110 degrees.
Dillon rejects new offer
LB Tumulty retires
Politics tough turf for baseball
1938 layout hit at Sharon Woods
Mixing nature with golf
Sycamore gets revenge, beats Fairfield 4-0
Game 1 goes to 'Clones
Return to Reds front page...