Sunday, May 4, 2003

Harnisch putting in his innings


Down on the farm

By Kevin Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

PHOTO GALLERY

Photos of Saturday's game
The April 21 anniversary came and went without a celebration. A little more than a year removed from ligament-reconstruction surgery on his right elbow, pitcher Pete Harnisch would rather not look back.

"The only way to get the arm strength back and ability to battle back is to just go out there and pitch," the 36-year-old said last week. "That's what I've been driven by my whole life, just to go out there and try to do the best I can."

The veteran right-hander is 0-2 with a 9.15 ERA in five starts at Triple-A Louisville.

"He's shown definite improvement in arm strength since the spring," Louisville pitching coach Mack Jenkins said. "He's still fighting consistency, putting the ball where he wants to put it. You can see that in the results where he's given up some runs."

Harnisch has thrown as hard as 88 mph, but his velocity fluctuates after the first few innings. The 34 hits and three homers allowed in his 19 2/3 innings are byproducts of pitch location.

"It hasn't been easy," he said. "The results haven't been good, but I'm not really after results."

Harnisch, who last pitched in a major-league game two years ago while with the Reds, does have an out clause. Should his comeback not go as well as planned, he is free to go starting May 15.

Right now, however, that doesn't appear to be an option.

"I'm not looking for miracles," he said. "I know when I'm ready to go (pitch). I keep getting closer each time out, and that's all I worry about."

A WINNER: Louisville right-hander Scott Randall, whom the Reds signed as a minor-league free agent in December, extended his unbeaten streak to 17 games with a win against Toledo on April 27.

The streak started after an Aug. 24, 2001 loss while pitching for Colorado Springs of the Pacific Coast League and has spanned 32 games and 160 1/3 innings.

Drafted by the Rockies in the 11th round of the 1995 draft, Randall went 14-0 with a 3.30 ERA in 24 starts with Double-A New Britain and Triple-A Edmonton last season.

ODDS AND ENDS: Louisville outfielder Jacob Cruz ranked among the International League leaders in hitting entering the weekend. He was batting .395 with six homers and 25 RBI through 21 games. ... Single-A Potomac pitcher Ty Howington, the Reds' first-round pick in 1999, went 3-0 with a 3.66 ERA in April. He won two games last season. ... Pitcher Jimmy Anderson threw seven scoreless innings for his first win for Louisville on Thursday. He retired the first 11 Indianapolis Indians he faced.

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E-mail kkelly@enquirer.com




FLYING PIG MARATHON
Locals win Flying Pig
Complete results

REDS SUNDAY GAME
Giants 6, Reds 1
Reds Box, Runs

REDS SATURDAY GAME
Giants 9, Reds 6
Reds notebook: Riedling prepared to start
Harnisch putting in his innings
First win of season gives Graves shot of confidence
Aussie takes American game for a kick and a jog
Reds chatter
Reds Q&A

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