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redsmetz
04-29-2006, 08:53 AM
From today's Houston Chronicle:


Reds chip away at Oswalt's dominance
Unbeaten streak ends as Astros fall run short in ninth

By BRIAN MCTAGGART
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

CINCINNATI - If there was a silver lining in the first loss of the season for Astros righthander Roy Oswalt, it's that he no longer will have to answer questions about his perfect record against the Cincinnati Reds.

That's because the Reds one of baseball's biggest surprises this season finally figured out how to beat the Astros righthander on Friday night at Great American Ball Park. Oswalt (4-1) allowed eight hits and three runs in six innings and suffered his first loss in 16 career decisions against the Reds (16-7), who held on to beat the Astros 5-4 in front of 32,089 fans.

"Eventually it was going to come to an end if you play long enough," said Oswalt, who lost for the first time since Sept. 11, 2005.

Oswalt came into the game 15-0 against the Reds since 2001 and with the major-league record for most wins against a team without a loss.

"He could start another five-year run if he wants to," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "That's a nice streak. I don't know how to explain those things. It's an unusual record."

Cincinnati won for the fifth game in a row and knocked the Astros (15-7) from first place in the National League Central with their club record-tying 16th win in April. It was the Astros' first loss in eight one-run games this year.

Reds lefthander Brandon Claussen (2-2) collected the win after holding the Astros to six hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings. Todd Coffey threw two scoreless innings in relief, and David Weathers held on in the ninth for his seventh save.

Called on to protect a 5-2 lead, Weathers gave up a two-run homer down the left-field line to Lance Berkman with one out. The ball was caught by a fan in front of the foul pole and quickly ruled a homer by third-base umpire Gerry Davis.

"I knew I hit it good, but I wasn't thinking home run," Berkman said. "The whole time I was wondering if it was going to be fair or foul. I kind of watched and at the last minute it straightened out and died in the corner. The guy reached his glove out and caught it, and I knew they were going to call it at least a double."

With a chance to tie the game, Morgan Ensberg flied out to center field and Preston Wilson flied out to right to end the game.

"It's was their night," Berkman said. "They kept giving themselves chances to score, but a lot of hits were not exactly tattooed. There were seeing-eye grounders and a jam shot and that sort of thing, but give those guys a lot of credit."

Oswalt struggled with his location and worked in and out of trouble all night. Still, the three runs the Reds scored off him came on a bloop single, groundout and sacrifice fly.

"It's better than bullets all over the field, I guess," Oswalt said. "It's kind of bad when you throw a quality pitch and they hit it over the infield or put it in play and score."

Garner said Oswalt wasn't himself.

"He wasn't as sharp and was missing location all night long," he said. "I looked at the board at replays and could see (catcher) Brad (Ausmus) setting up away and the ball would be up and in. A couple of balls that were hit, he set up in and they ran back across the plate. Even at that, we're still in the ballgame."

The Astros couldn't capitalize on their nine hits or the six walks and one hit batter Reds pitchers provided. They left 10 runners on base.

"It's one of those nights you had to battle to stay in the game and I really didn't have anything to go with," Oswalt said. "Later in the game in the sixth, seventh inning, I felt better than the first four."

With the Astros trailing 3-1 in the sixth, Wilson led off with a homer his first since April 10 to get the Astros within a run. They had runners at second and third with two outs later in the inning, but reliever Rick White got Craig Biggio to ground out.

Mike Gallo started the seventh for the Astros and was pulled after giving up a one-out single to Adam Dunn. Chad Qualls came in and surrendered consecutive singles to Rich Aurilia and Scott Hatteberg to load the bases. Qualls struck out Austin Kearns swinging for the second out and got ahead of Brandon Phillips with two strikes. But Phillips rolled the next pitch back up the middle for a two-run single.

cReds1
04-29-2006, 09:04 AM
Sounds to me like they were making Excuses and then talking about the weak hits the Reds had. Basically meaning, it was LUCK. That is the way I am reading them.

RBA
04-29-2006, 09:16 AM
I have to agree with cReds1, it reads like a lot of excuses.

redsmetz
04-29-2006, 09:37 AM
I'll concede the title is probably overstated, I chose it hesitantly based on this comment from Berkman:


"It's was their night," Berkman said. "They kept giving themselves chances to score, but a lot of hits were not exactly tattooed. There were seeing-eye grounders and a jam shot and that sort of thing, but give those guys a lot of credit."

Part of what struck me about their comments was that this wasn't the typical Reds win we've seen. Someone noted at the season's onset that we weren't going to see a lot of 2-1, 3-2 games, but rather more 9-8 games etc. This game might well have been a 5-2 game had the fan not caught the ball in front of the foul pole., but we'll never know if that ball would have been a homer or a foul or a double. That said, I'll take a 5-4 win which featured no home runs for the hometown nine - it was a small ball win with good starting pitching and I think we earned some respect for that. And that was my actual point.

creek14
04-29-2006, 09:47 AM
"Eventually it was going to come to an end if you play long enough," said Oswalt,
Translated "The Reds just got lucky, I could have held them winless my entire career."

"He could start another five-year run if he wants to," Astros manager Phil Garner
Translated "The Reds just got lucky, Roy could have held them winless his entire career."

Berkman said. "They kept giving themselves chances to score, but a lot of hits were not exactly tattooed. There were seeing-eye grounders and a jam shot and that sort of thing..."
Translated "The Reds just got lucky, Roy could have held them winless his entire career."

Garner said Oswalt wasn't himself. "He wasn't as sharp and was missing location all night long," he said. "I looked at the board at replays and could see (catcher) Brad (Ausmus) setting up away and the ball would be up and in. A couple of balls that were hit, he set up in and they ran back across the plate. Even at that, we're still in the ballgame."
Translated "The Reds just got lucky, Roy could have held them winless his entire career."

RedlegJake
04-29-2006, 10:21 AM
Actually it is the small ball aspect of this team that encourages me most...no more waiting for a 3 run bomb but getting the bombs AND scratching out runs when the long ball isn't there. Small ball by itself won't win games but as a spice it makes a good dish great.

redsmetz
04-29-2006, 10:28 AM
Actually it is the small ball aspect of this team that encourages me most...no more waiting for a 3 run bomb but getting the bombs AND scratching out runs when the long ball isn't there. Small ball by itself won't win games but as a spice it makes a good dish great.

Exactly!

TeamBoone
04-29-2006, 10:35 AM
Credit? I didn't see any credit in that article (except from Berkman).

I think cReds1 nailed it.

In the article I posted on the game thread, the writer chalked it up to the fact that Oswalt was "under the weather".

MattyHo4Life
04-29-2006, 10:43 AM
The Astros didn't give the Reds any credit. They are sore losers, and just made excuses for why they lost. Not one time did they say that they lost to the better team, because they don't believe it. In their minds, the Reds just got lucky, and it won't happen again. I'm sorry, but I just can't stand the Astros. The Cubs are my least favorite team, but the Astros are right up there with them. Comments like these show you exactly why.

Patrick Bateman
04-29-2006, 11:20 AM
I'm sorry, but I just can't stand the Astros.

Really, there is no reason to apologize.:laugh:

StRedlegs900
04-29-2006, 11:35 AM
I will say that I was reading the story on the Astros' site about the game recap (the counterpart to the recap on the Reds' site), and Garner did give the Reds some credit.

Here's his quote from that story. It's right at the bottom of it, in case you wanna read the rest:

"That's what happens when they put the ball in play," Garner said. "Sometimes they're caught and a lot of times they'll sneak away. I think that's the biggest difference with [the Reds] this year. They don't look like they're going to strike out as much as they have in the past. Putting the ball in play, things are going to happen."

As much as I hate the Astros, Garner is right. We hardly struck out last night against a guy that has killed us in the past. That was the key to the game--putting the ball in play.

REDREAD
04-29-2006, 11:40 AM
I don't get all the "excuses" angles.

It seemed like Oswalt was just saying all streaks come to an end.
Berkman said "It was their night".. Isn't that giving some credit?

What do you guys expect the Astros to say, "The Reds beat us tonight, and they are probably a better team than us?" I don't seem to recall any people complaining after a Reds loss that our team didn't give enough credit to the opposing team.

In fact, I've heard people on this board state after some Claussen & Harang losses that the other team got a few lucky ones to fall in for hits, etc and that his start wasn't that bad. It's the nature of the beast to think that somehow your team might've been able to pull off a win if they had only gotten a few more breaks (How many fans/teams of basketball blame the refs, citing that a couple of calls changed the game :) )

Anyhow, I don't take this as disrespecting the Reds or making excuses. It's standard post game talk. Remember, their audience is the Astro fans. And of course Garner is going to sing Oswalt's praises, even after a loss. That's part of his job, to help promote the stars of the team.

RedFanAlways1966
04-29-2006, 11:52 AM
Anyhow, I don't take this as disrespecting the Reds or making excuses. It's standard post game talk. Remember, their audience is the Astro fans. And of course Garner is going to sing Oswalt's praises, even after a loss. That's part of his job, to help promote the stars of the team.

Exactly how I read it.

toledodan
04-29-2006, 12:06 PM
also after hitting alot of homeruns early the reds have hit very few over the last couple of weeks. i think we have just hit a couple during our 5 game winning streak.

redsmetz
04-29-2006, 12:06 PM
The Astros didn't give the Reds any credit. They are sore losers, and just made excuses for why they lost. Not one time did they say that they lost to the better team, because they don't believe it. In their minds, the Reds just got lucky, and it won't happen again. I'm sorry, but I just can't stand the Astros. The Cubs are my least favorite team, but the Astros are right up there with them. Comments like these show you exactly why.

Would you really expect the Astros to say of the Reds "they're the better team"? That hardly sounds realistic. I think they were giving the Reds their due while still acknowledging their own shortcomings.

Jr's Boy
04-29-2006, 12:15 PM
What the heck does Oswalt mean when'' its too bad when you throw quality pitches and they hit it over the infield or put it in play and score''.Well if their quality pitches why are they being hit!Didnt see the game but i was told the 3rd or 4th time Philips was up that Oswalt threw behind his back.Philips owns him,has owned him since the Cleveland days.

SteelSD
04-29-2006, 12:20 PM
I don't get all the "excuses" angles.

It seemed like Oswalt was just saying all streaks come to an end.
Berkman said "It was their night".. Isn't that giving some credit?

What do you guys expect the Astros to say, "The Reds beat us tonight, and they are probably a better team than us?" I don't seem to recall any people complaining after a Reds loss that our team didn't give enough credit to the opposing team.

In fact, I've heard people on this board state after some Claussen & Harang losses that the other team got a few lucky ones to fall in for hits, etc and that his start wasn't that bad. It's the nature of the beast to think that somehow your team might've been able to pull off a win if they had only gotten a few more breaks (How many fans/teams of basketball blame the refs, citing that a couple of calls changed the game :) )

Anyhow, I don't take this as disrespecting the Reds or making excuses. It's standard post game talk. Remember, their audience is the Astro fans. And of course Garner is going to sing Oswalt's praises, even after a loss. That's part of his job, to help promote the stars of the team.

Well said.

Being that baseball IS a sport tied to randomness, I'm not sure why we're be grumpy about another team noting that they got beat largely by balls that look like line drives in the box score, but weren't. Phillips did a great job protecting the plate on the 0-2 pitch that snuck through the middle of the Infield in the 7th, but if that ball gets hit against a Reds pitcher, you'll hear the same collective "Ugggghhhh..." from Reds fans.

Baseball's a game of inches. Sometimes the inches get you regardless of what the players have to say about it. Not sure how noticing that makes the Astros bad guys because, sure enough, every other team notices it when it happens to them.

MattyHo4Life
04-29-2006, 12:39 PM
Would you really expect the Astros to say of the Reds "they're the better team"? That hardly sounds realistic.

I don't expect any type of sportsmanship coming from the Astros or the Cubs, so the answer is no.

Matt700wlw
04-29-2006, 12:40 PM
What will today's excuse be? :cool:

GAC
04-29-2006, 12:43 PM
The Astros didn't give the Reds any credit. They are sore losers, and just made excuses for why they lost. Not one time did they say that they lost to the better team, because they don't believe it. In their minds, the Reds just got lucky, and it won't happen again. I'm sorry, but I just can't stand the Astros.

I'm getting that way too Matty. Not a real big fan of Garner.... and after "country boy" Oswalt ( a control pitcher) threw behind Phillips, he's a punk to me. ;)

Sea Ray
04-29-2006, 12:51 PM
also after hitting alot of homeruns early the reds have hit very few over the last couple of weeks. i think we have just hit a couple during our 5 game winning streak.

Good point and I think this reflects well on the 2006 version being a little better than the recent past. Yesterday was a good example of how this team can beat good pitchers. Add Oswalt to the list of Zambrano, Carpenter and Sheets--excellent pitchers who the Reds tagged for losses. This team can score without relying on the HR. That AB by Phillips against Qualls was huge. Qualls had "it going" at that point. His balls were moving and diving all over the place and Phillips was behind 0-2. That 0-2 pitch was a pitcher's pitch--down, hard and late movement driving it even further in the strike zone. Back in the days Jim Lefebre instructed our hitters, it's unlikely such a pitch would have been contacted.

The Reds have had other games as well this year where they've relied on speed and situational hitting to defeat their opponents. This is a quality missing from past Reds' teams but is something good teams can do.

Jr's Boy
04-29-2006, 01:20 PM
I'm getting that way too Matty. Not a real big fan of Garner.... and after "country boy" Oswalt ( a control pitcher) threw behind Phillips, he's a punk to me. ;)

I agree with ya there,Oswalt lost all my respect when he did that.I thought he had more class than that,but he is just another primadonna who gets upset when things dont go his way.

MattyHo4Life
05-02-2006, 07:54 AM
Would you really expect the Astros to say of the Reds "they're the better team"? That hardly sounds realistic. I think they were giving the Reds their due while still acknowledging their own shortcomings.

LaRussa can admit when one team plays better. I guess it wouldn't be realistic coming from the Astros.



"It was a pitching duel for the first five (innings), then he makes some mistakes in the one inning, they capitalize, and Arroyo didn't make any mistakes," manager Tony La Russa said. "Overall, they just played better."

Astrobuddy
05-02-2006, 11:00 AM
The Astros are one of the more classy teams in MLB. They dont play "dirty" Cubs style Dustyball. I am amazed that some of you think they do.

Not one of the Astros does bat flips or stands at homeplate admiring a homerun like its the 1st time they ever hit one. I am shocked, actually not really, that Pujols gets the pass he gets on that crap.

You can always find something to hate if you chose. Biggio and Bagwell dont tolerate that crap from the young players and I doubt Oswalt would intentionally throw the ball behind anyone.

That was an article in the HOUSTON Paper. Remember it was written by a hometown writter who can also pick and chose the quotes. It wasnt intended to make Reds fans feel better.

Any of you ever read the press in St Louis? Listen to Mike Shannon? Chicago?

I dont have a problem if my team says they had a bad game and thats why they lost.

westofyou
05-02-2006, 11:05 AM
The Astros are one of the more classy teams in MLB.
yeah that train is classy... and that old dome and that name... ASTROS!!!!! very Jetsons, very lunar module.... screams ... 'Classy" ;)

Astrobuddy
05-02-2006, 11:11 AM
The team West, not the Stadium. There is a HUGE difference. I wish that MMP was designed different. Can you imagine how low the the Astros starting staff's ERA would be in a stadium like the Astrodome?

westofyou
05-02-2006, 11:13 AM
Can you imagine how low the the Astros starting staff's ERA would be in a stadium like the Astrodome?Can you imagine Willy Taveres' OPS in a barn like that? Or Jason Lanes?

The take would involve some give.

Astrobuddy
05-02-2006, 11:19 AM
It wouldnt matter what Stadium Willy T played in, but Jason Lane would be just fine. Regardless of what people think, MMP doesnt inflate the Astros hitters stats.


That launchpad in Cinci has surrender more homers than any other stadium in MLB. I think you need to tend to your own garden before you go insulting others.

MattyHo4Life
05-02-2006, 11:21 AM
Any of you ever read the press in St Louis? Listen to Mike Shannon? Chicago?

I dont have a problem if my team says they had a bad game and thats why they lost.

There is an article from the St. Louis PD posted in another thread. It isn't a puff piece like this one was.

lollipopcurve
05-02-2006, 11:22 AM
I doubt Oswalt would intentionally throw the ball behind anyone.

If you don't think Oswalt was trying to drill or throw behind Phillips, you're deluding yourself.

vaticanplum
05-02-2006, 11:24 AM
That launchpad in Cinci has surrender more homers than any other stadium in MLB.

Now this is what I'm talking about, astrobuddy. What exactly do you mean by this? I'm not arguing that it's not a homer park, but I truly don't understand your point with this statement and thus I see no point. The stadium is only three years old. I'm guessing that Fenway and Wrigley, at almost 100 years old each, have seen a few more homers than GABP. Are you referring to a specific season, and if so, which one? In x season, did the park really see more homers than, say, Citizens Bank? See, this isn't a fact that I know offhand, and I'd like to, so put it out there and it will educate all of us plus strengthen your argument to boot.

westofyou
05-02-2006, 11:24 AM
I think you need to tend to your own garden before you go insulting others.Don't get your underoo's in a bunch, and learn to research some of the the numbers, at least for your own park.

The Houstan BP had Park Factors:

115
110
109
107
100
95

membengal
05-02-2006, 11:25 AM
By the way, I am ok with an Astros fan and a Cards fan arguing over which of their teams gave the Reds their proper respect...

ochre
05-02-2006, 11:29 AM
It wouldnt matter what Stadium Willy T played in, but Jason Lane would be just fine. Regardless of what people think, MMP doesnt inflate the Astros hitters stats.


That launchpad in Cinci has surrender more homers than any other stadium in MLB. I think you need to tend to your own garden before you go insulting others.
So now you are comparing the Reds pitching of the last few years to the Astros? Thanks, but that's really not fair to the Astros.

Of course we could just assume that these ballparks exist in vacuums and that the teams that play in them have little to no impact on how the ballparks 'perform'.

MattyHo4Life
05-02-2006, 11:30 AM
By the way, I am ok with an Astros fan and a Cards fan arguing over which of their teams gave the Reds their proper respect...


I really wish Dave Williams wasn't pitching today. Any chance Narron would switch the Tues and Wed starters?

membengal
05-02-2006, 11:35 AM
I really wish Dave Williams wasn't pitching today. Any chance Narron would switch the Tues and Wed starters?

Why, Williams batting practice for Pujols et al isn't something you look forward to?

Astrobuddy
05-02-2006, 11:38 AM
Look at this year. Cinci has MUCH better pitching than in years past and yet the Stadium is again leading in homeruns.


MMP isnt Colorado. I just dont buy that the stadium makes a huge difference. The occasional homer in the 1st row of the Crawfords that wouldnt be a homerun in another park, but you get a few rows back and the homers hit would be homers in 99% of ballparks. RF line isnt out of line and CF is alot deeper than most.


Sorry to stir it up.

MattyHo4Life
05-02-2006, 11:38 AM
Why, Williams batting practice for Pujols et al isn't something you look forward to?

Not at all. If the Cardinals win this game, it won't seem like much because they beat Dave Williams. If they lose...then it will look really bad, because they lost to Dave Williams. lol There is no winning in this game. Sidney Ponson is having a good year, so I'd rather see him go against someone not names Dave Williams.

MattyHo4Life
05-02-2006, 11:41 AM
CF is alot deeper than most.

I think CF at MMP is deeper than any other park. Are there any deeper CF's than MMP? I've actually been looking closely at stadium dimensions lately, because I'm designing a stadium for my OOTP sim league team.

westofyou
05-02-2006, 11:42 AM
I just dont buy that the stadium makes a huge difference.

Just like those "Bill James" stats eh?

Sea Ray
05-02-2006, 11:54 AM
I think CF at MMP is deeper than any other park. Are there any deeper CF's than MMP? I've actually been looking closely at stadium dimensions lately, because I'm designing a stadium for my OOTP sim league team.

Who cares how far away the fences are? The Coors Field fences are plenty far away. The more important issue is how well the ball travels and the ball travels very well at both MMP and GABP.

ochre
05-02-2006, 12:05 PM
Look at this year. Cinci has MUCH better pitching than in years past and yet the Stadium is again leading in homeruns.


MMP isnt Colorado. I just dont buy that the stadium makes a huge difference. The occasional homer in the 1st row of the Crawfords that wouldnt be a homerun in another park, but you get a few rows back and the homers hit would be homers in 99% of ballparks. RF line isnt out of line and CF is alot deeper than most.


Sorry to stir it up.
4 more homers at home than on the road in the same number of games for the pitching? Seems significant to me...

Particularly when three of those road games were in Washington.

For the record Reds hitters have 18 road homers and 19 at home in the same number of games.

redsrule2500
05-02-2006, 12:07 PM
Sounds to me like they were making Excuses and then talking about the weak hits the Reds had. Basically meaning, it was LUCK. That is the way I am reading them.

agree with you on this...don't seem to be giving the Reds credit, more like talking down saying it was amazing luck that they won.

LincolnparkRed
05-02-2006, 12:08 PM
4 more homers at home than on the road in the same number of games for the pitching?

But even that stat can be misleading. How many homers came in the start that Milton had before he was DL'd 4 or 5?? You take that game out and it looks like they are giving as well as the get home or away.

RBA
05-02-2006, 12:11 PM
agree with you on this...don't seem to be giving the Reds credit, more like talking down saying it was amazing luck that they won.


It's their right as Astros, afterall the Reds have never won anything and the Astros have a half dozen World Series Championships under their belts.

ochre
05-02-2006, 12:11 PM
I don't see it as particularly significant statistically for this season. Just find it hard to believe that it can all be attributed to a stadium that plays as a slight pitchers park, even with 0 foul territory.

GullyFoyle
05-02-2006, 12:23 PM
Look at this year. Cinci has MUCH better pitching than in years past and yet the Stadium is again leading in homeruns.

Sorry to stir it up.

Red's Pitching April 2005
Games 23 Hits 220 HR 35 Earned Runs 111 ERA 5.05

Red's Pitching April 2006
Games 25 Hits 240 HR 41 Earned Runs 119 ERA 4.85


We would like to think its MUCH better, but at the moment it is a little better...