Dunn's monumental blast proves to be historic
By Hal McCoy
CINCINNATI | General Manager Wayne Krivsky leaped to his feet on contact in his private box in Great American Ball Park and said, "Good thing there was a counter in front of me or I might have flown right out the window."
Then he went home Friday night and was so wired he couldn't sleep until 3:30 and watched the replay, "Four times on TiVo — couldn't get enough of it. I only watched the eighth and ninth innings."
Krivsky was referring to the Reds' incredible 9-8 victory over the Cleveland Indians, attained after they trailed, 7-0, after seven innings, and ended by Adam Dunn's walk-off grand slam home run.
Coming back from seven runs down after seven innings is as rare as it gets. Research done by FoxSports/Ohio revealed that since 1981 there have been 55,587 games played and only 15 teams have come back from seven runs behind going into the eighth.
Dunn was informed Saturday that his grand slam came with historical markers.
"Did you know it was only the second time in Reds history a walk-off grand slam erased a three-run deficit to win a game? The other one was hit by Sammy Byrd on May 23, 1936 against Pittsburgh's Cy Blanton.
Dunn looked perplexed and said with a smile, "If you know that, you're a nerd."
Then he was told that Cleveland pitcher Bob Wickman hadn't given up a home run all season and no grand slams in his 14-year major-league career.
"Really? Wow. Now that one is easy to find and you aren't a nerd if you know that one," Dunn said.
"I do love those situations," Dunn said. "I love the opportunities and it doesn't happen often but sometimes things like that happen."
After the ball cleared the right-field fence, Dunn pumped his arm, something he never does.
"I don't do that, but for to come back and win that game when we had no business winning, that game was special."
The Bowden Bluster
The Washington Jim Bowden continues to be the Cincinnati Bowden — let twisted facts be his guide. It was announced Friday that Bowden will remain general manager of the Nationals under new ownership.
Said Bowden, "We're going to be able to do it right. I've never had the opportunity in my career. I've dreamed about it."
Bowden keeps talking about how he didn't have the payroll in Cincinnati to compete, but here are the facts:
In 1993, Bowden's first year, the Reds had the second-highest payroll in baseball, $42.8 million. In 1994, it was seventh highest, in '95 it was sixth highest, in '96 it was sixth highest and in '97 it was eighth highest.
And what did Bowden do with it? He won the division in 1995, the only time any of his teams made the playoffs.
Castro in the game
Juan Castro was in Saturday's lineup at shortstop, not as a reward for his three-run pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning Friday, but "because I had already told him before Friday's game he would play Saturday," manager Jerry Narron said. "We're just giving Felipe Lopez a day off."
Castro's home run, which brought the Reds from 7-1 down to 7-4, was avalanched by Dunn's ninth-inning grand slam, but without Castro's homer, there would have been no Dunn homer.
"A perfect game for fireworks after the game," said Castro, referring to a postgame fireworks show.
Castro was with the Reds from 2000 to 2004, teams that weren't very good, but he now finds himself on a Reds team in first place.
"This team is more confident than any Reds team I've been on," he said.
"It's a lot of different guys. It's a more relaxed team and everybody gets ready to go out there and have confidence they'll have a good game and win."
• When former GM Dan O'Brien acquired pitcher Juan Padilla he called him, "A strike-thrower deluxe," even though he proved he wasn't. But there may be one pitching for the Reds' rookie team in Billings, Mont.
Dane Mason threw 45 pitches in his last start, 37 for strikes, allowing one run (a home run) and five hits over five innings.
• Johnny Cueto, promoted from low Class A Dayton to high Class A Sarasota last week, gave up five runs on three hits in his four-inning Sarasota debut Friday in a 9-8, 11th-inning victory over Dunedin. There was an hour-and-a-half rain delay.
• Injured pitcher Brandon Claussen threw 70 pitches of batting practice Saturday without incident and will throw again somewhere Tuesday while the Reds are in Milwaukee.