Wednesday, September 05, 2001
Astros 7, Reds 1
Reds officially eliminated, guaranteed losing record
By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The Reds, out of contention in the National League Central in the minds of baseball fans since mid-May, wake up today out of it as far as mathematicians are concerned, as well.
The Houston Astros beat the Reds 7-1 before a crowd of 16,255 at Cinergy Field on Tuesday night. That put the Astros' lead at 25 games; the Reds have 24 games left. The Reds also will finish below .500. Tuesday's loss was their 82nd.
So they could go 24-0 and finish 80-82.
Tuesday's game was pretty much a rerun of Thursday's Astros-Reds game in Houston, i.e., Houston starter Roy Oswalt was very good, Reds starter Dennys Reyes wasn't very good, and the Reds' defense was awful.
Oswalt, the 24-year-old rookie right-hander, was dominating in pushing his record to 13-2. He went seven innings, allowing five hits. He walked none and struck out eight. The Reds got only two runners to second base against him.
He's got pretty legit stuff, Reds manager Bob Boone said. He's not doing it with mirrors.
Oswalt has pitched 21 1/3
innings against the Reds this year and allowed one run. He has struck out 23 and walked none in his four appearances against the Reds.
Oswalt has gone at the Reds the same way each time.
I try not to change too much, he said. I'm a real aggressive guy. Until they prove they can hit the fastball, I'm going to keep throwing it.
Reyes fell to 1-6 and didn't make it through the fourth inning. The Reds were trailing 5-0 by then. Reyes went 3 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and five runs (three earned). His future as a starter could be in jeopardy. His ERA is 7.54 in his five starts, and he has allowed 29 hits in 22 2/3 innings.
The Reds have Joey Hamilton, a proven starter, in their camp. Hamilton is scheduled to make one more start at Triple-A Louisville.
They're in a different mix, Boone said, referring to the fact Reyes is scheduled to start Sunday, Hamilton on Friday.
Boone also said he hasn't been able to get a true look at Reyes because of the defense behind him. Reyes has given up nine runs in his last two starts, but only five have been earned.
He threw pretty good (Tuesday), Boone said. We didn't make plays. If we make plays, it's completely different the same way the last time out. I'd like to give him a decent shot.
The Astros broke through for three runs in the third thanks to the shoddy defense two errors Boone was talking about.
My command was really good, Reyes said. They hit pitches I wanted to throw. Everyone makes errors. That's part of the game.
Vinny Castilla singled to start the inning. An out later, Oswalt tried to sacrifice him over. Reyes fielded the ball and threw to second, but the throw was off and all hands were safe.
Craig Biggio reached on third baseman Dmitri Young's error. Julio Lugo got a run in with a single. After Reyes struck out Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman hit a high chopper that shortstop Pokey Reese fielded deep behind the second base bag. Berkman beat Reese's throw, and two runs scored to make it 3-0.
Reyes got in more trouble in the fourth. Richard Hidalgo doubled. Castilla got him to third with a single. Hidalgo scored and Castillo moved to second on catcher Corky Miller's passed ball.
After Lugo dropped a single into center to make it 5-0, Reyes was done.
Being down 5-0 to Oswalt means you're pretty much done. He had given up a total of four earned runs in his last four starts. He was 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA in August.
The Reds scored their lone run on Wilton Guerrero's double and Ken Griffey Jr.'s RBI single in the eighth.
The Reds made three errors on the night, giving them nine in the last five games. For the year, they have 119 second-most in the NL.
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