Monday, August 12, 2002

Reds do make it interesting

        Well, OK. So what if Bob Boone's managing still makes you want to break something?

        The Reds were up 7-2 after six innings and Boone thought the game was over.

        Junior Griffey, take a load off. Barry Larkin, put your feet up.

        Brian Moehler used only 80 pitches. To the untrained eye, the last 65 or so looked pretty darned good. Eighty is not a lot of pitches when you've worked six innings, haven't walked anyone and are breezing. Except here.

Relief pitcher Danny Graves collects his composure after surrendering a game tying two-run homer to Bubba Trammel.
(Michael E. Keating photo)
| ZOOM |
        Here, 80 pitches is approaching cruel and unusual.

        So what? Does it matter that the Reds, even with Aaron Boone's walk-off homer in the 12th, still have a bad case of Big Hit-itis? They left 13 men on base Sunday. Their team batting average with runners on second and third is borderline Mendoza Line (which, by the way, we might rename Castro's Corner).

        Somehow, Cincinnati overcame San Diego and, more accurately, itself, to win 9-7 in 12 innings.

        We use that word a lot with this team: somehow. We've figured them for dead so much, they could qualify for last rites every other day. Somehow, they've recovered.

        “It ended up real good, with a lot of bad in between,” was Bob Boone's read on things. “I don't try to explain it. That's baseball.”

        Oh, how the talk-show freaks would have hammered Boone, had his second-born not drilled that two-run homer in the 12th. As usual, the manager had perfectly logical-to-him reasons for what he did.

        He took Moehler out because he thinks Moehler's pitch count shouldn't be more than 90, given his shoulder surgery 13 months ago. He removed Larkin because Larkin had a stiff neck Saturday. He excused Griffey because his leg is still only 80 percent.

        “I'll be doing that probably the rest of the year,” Boone said.

        There you have it. If you can get past your amazement at some of the things the manager does, you will see a team that hangs around longer than a summer cold. Teams beat the Reds. They won't bury them until someone drives a broken bat through the Reds' heart.

        We'll learn soon how far heart will take them. Cincinnati's tour of the NL's Tomato Can Division is over, for now. The next two weeks, the Reds will face no pitcher named Bobby M. Jones. They still have six games with Milwaukee, the National League's very own American Legion team, but none in the next 19 days.

        The Reds play Arizona, Houston and St. Louis 20 times between now and Sept. 4. Hold your own against the best, keep yourselves relevant in September. Play .345 ball against them -- Cincinnati's current percentage against teams with winning records -- and start planning the off-season fishing trips.

        Winning half of the 20 will keep the Reds interesting. That's because they return to the Palooka Portion of the season starting Sept. 6. Their last 23 games are against sub-.500 teams.

        “It's getting fun now,” Aaron Boone decided.

        Yup, and if you're lucky, Reds fan, you'll still be complaining about Bob Boone a month from now.


Reds Stories
Reds 9, Padres 7
Reds box, runs
- DAUGHERTY: Reds do make it interesting
Reds enter critical stretch
Boone knocking on the door of elite 30-30 club
Couch potatoes celebrated at minor league baseball game
Players likely to set strike date Monday
Braves 13, Astros 3
Cardinals 9, Mets 0
Heat shelves D-Ray
Notes from Sunday's games
Columbus 8, Louisville 1

Actor hurt in Ky. Speedway crash
Giaffone bests Hornish in IRL fight to finish
Fisher gets bored leading race
IRL Belterra Casino Indy 300 Results
Stewart drives to victory at Watkins Glen
Tire blisters bounce Scheckter on lap 90
Carpentier runs away with victory at Mid-Ohio
Moya too much for No. 1 Hewitt
Hewitt unable to recover after Moya puts him in a spin cycle
Martin, Blake make big pitch for Davis Cup
Q&A with ATP Tour CEO Mark Miles
Weather, fans favor Masters
Rubin upsets Davenport to win JPMorgan Chase Open
Woods wins the Buick Open
Webb puts Super Slam on resume
PGA Championship, Player Capsules
PGA Championship, hole by hole
College All-Stars 139, NBA All-Stars 138
Akili Smith back in the mix
Takeo Spikes sidelined with chest injury
Woodward grad Jackson given his walking papers
Browns' Miller done for season with torn Achilles'
Redesigned football helmets tackle concussions, comfort
Terrell Davis has MRI exam on swollen knee
Ohio boy's golf preview
Kentucky girl's golf preview

Return to Reds front page...