Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Adversity surrounds Riedling


Reds notes

By John Fay
Enquirer staff writer

ST. LOUIS - These are difficult times for John Riedling. He is struggling professionally, while dealing with a personal trauma.

Riedling's father, Jack, died Aug. 3.

"It's tough," John said. "But that's life. You've got to go on."

Riedling was on the bereavement list from Aug. 3-9.

When he came back, he struggled with his control. He walked four in his first outing.

"I hadn't picked up a ball in seven days," he said. "Then (Monday), I decided I was going to go after hitters and not walk anyone."

Unfortunately for Riedling, the first hitter he faced was Albert Pujols, arguably the best hitter in baseball.

Riedling got ahead of Pujols 0-2, then hung a slider. Pujols hit the ball 480 feet into the night for a three-run home run.

Riedling was perplexed by the whole thing.

"I normally don't throw an 0-2 pitch like that," he said. "I don't know how it ended up down the middle."

Riedling's struggles go back a ways. Going into Tuesday, he had a 6.87 ERA over his last 34 games. Early in the season, Riedling was untouchable. He had a 0.41 ERA after his first 20 games.

"I think I'm thinking too much," Riedling said.

SKIPPING ACEVEDO: With the off day Thursday, the Reds will skip right-hander Jose Acevedo's turn in the rotation.

That means Luke Hudson, Aaron Harang and Brandon Claussen will start the three games against the Diamondbacks in the Arizona.

"We'll keep those guys on their fifth day," manager Dave Miley said.

Yes, the Reds do get Randy Johnson in Phoenix. He goes Friday against Hudson.

Acevedo is available in the bullpen. He was used as a reliever twice the last time his spot in the rotation was skipped. He threw a total of three scoreless innings.

NOT SO FLY: The Reds have failed miserably over the last few games with a runner on third base and less than two outs.

That is no surprise. They are last in the National League with 19 sacrifice flies. By comparison, the Cardinals lead the NL with 55 sac flies. Neither the cleanup hitter (Adam Dunn) nor the No. 5 hitter (Wily Mo Pena) has a sacrifice fly.

"We've got to find a way to get those runs in," Miley said.

SO MUCH FOR STATS: Wondering why the Reds used Todd Van Poppel Monday for the seventh inning?

Pujols, Scott Rolen and Edgar Renteria were a combined 3-for-21 off him. Pujols and Rolen doubled, and Renteria singled to score two runs.

KEARNS UPDATE: Austin Kearns was 2-for-5 with a double Monday in the second game of his rehab with Triple-A Louisville.

FARM REPORT: Right-hander Dustin Moseley went seven shutout innings, allowing six hits, in Louisville's 7-0 victory over Toledo Monday.

Lance Caraccioli pitched seven innings of one-run, four-hit ball in Double-A Chattanooga's 9-1 win over Greenville. Caraccioli, a 27-year-old left-hander, was signed by the Reds after being released by the New York Mets. He is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA for the Lookouts.

UP NEXT: The Reds wrap up the three-game series tonight with an 8:10 game. Right-hander Josh Hancock (2-1, 8,04 ERA) faces right-hander Woody Williams (9-6, 3.78).

REDS FACT: Cincinnati entered Tuesday 2-53 in games it trailed after eight innings this season.

---

E-mail jfay@enquirer.com

Reds statistics

Through Monday's game

BATTERS AVGOBAABRH2B3BHRRBIBBSOSBCSE
Casey .340.3954097813938219743424106
Larkin .307.35630354931537412534204
Dunn .282.40741280116230367582139415
Freel .281.38137047104145121516422812
Jimenez .260.356415521081827446171966
Pena .260.31527335718121561787316
Lopez .260.3301041727904131129009
Griffey .253.351300497618020604467101
Castro .250.28022826571723191037007
LaRue .245.327298387315113412180028
Cruz .235.3131151827503221033000
Valentin .219.2681511533715161026004
Bragg .217.3082355102236000
Larson .212.3041181325603141435105
Kearns .195.327871017213131630111
Vander Wal .162.18437262024114000
Romano .154.21426340013210000
Team Totals .255.3354024561102720818151534436927461982

8TD >65
PITCHERS WLERAGGSSVIPHRERHRBBSO
Graves 143.155903660.061262111836
Norton 134.47530052.153302642536
Riedling 434.50540060.064383063232
Harang 754.5320200113.11265957114193
Wilson 944.5423230142.21577672225192
Wagner 215.50340034.144252142021
Van Poppel 356.153110093.211064162060
Acevedo 5106.3625230127.11549290244098
Claussen 136.9355024.226221951513
White 117.00250027.028212111422
Hancock 218.0483015.22316146710
Hudson 018.441105.1865013
Matthews 218.84220018.12319186108
Valentine 019.953106.1777274
Team Totals 56625.34118118371048.21181676622168392704




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