Maladath, Runed Blade of the Black Flight
星期二, 8月 08, 2006
Reds stymied in rain-filled finale
Milton solid, but Maddux untouchable in Dodgers debut
CINCINNATI -- On Thursday night, there was only one force powerful enough to prevent future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux from throwing his first career no-hitter.
The Reds were no-hit by the 40-year-old veteran through six innings on the way to their fifth straight loss, 3-0, to the Dodgers before 26,053 fans at Great American Ball Park.
Maddux (10-11) was about to warm up for the bottom of the seventh inning when thunderstorms ended his night. The game was delayed 46 minutes, and Maddux did not return afterwards.
"We knew going in what he was capable of doing and what he has [done]," said Reds first baseman Scott Hatteberg, who walked twice against Maddux. "We just didn't make any adjustments."
The right-hander, acquired from the Cubs in a trade on Monday, was making his first start in a Dodgers uniform. While he didn't have his normal outstanding command -- he walked three batters -- the crafty right-hander struck out three and retired eight batters in a row at one point.
"Maddux pitched an outstanding game," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "He kept us off-balance. ... I can't remember if we even hit a ball hard off of him. We just couldn't get anything going against him."
It didn't matter that Maddux had traded his Cubs blue for a Dodgers hat. He continued his 2006 dominance of Cincinnati on Thursday night. With the win, Maddux improved to 4-0 and lowered his ERA to 2.34 against the Reds this season.
"He's pitched well against us," Narron said.
The sparse crowd on hand booed the decision by the Dodgers to take Maddux out following the second rain delay of the game. Maddux had thrown 72 pitches through his six no-hit innings. First pitch was thrown at 8:15 p.m. ET, after the game was delayed 65 minutes by the threat of rain.
"He's one of the greatest pitchers in baseball," said Reds catcher Javier Valentin. "That's why he's still pitching. He doesn't have to throw hard ... he had good location. He didn't make a mistake tonight."
The Reds managed a meager two hits on the night -- both against the Dodgers' bullpen. The first came in the seventh inning off the bat of Scott Hatteberg, who lined a single to right field off Dodgers reliever Joe Beimel. Edwin Encarnacion added another single in the eighth.
In the last two games, the Reds have managed just six hits. It was lefty starter Eric Milton who was the victim of a lack of run support on Thursday night.
For the second consecutive start, Milton got off to a rocky start, but settled down to give the Reds a quality outing. In the first inning on Thursday, he allowed a single to leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal. Three batters later, Milton surrendered a two-run homer to Olmedo Saenz to give the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead.
But the veteran lefty buckled down and allowed just four hits, struck out three batters, and retired eight in a row at one point in his final six innings pitched.
"He gave up that first run, and after that, he worked hard," Valentin said of Milton. "He changed speeds a lot, [and] when he does that, he's tough to beat."
On Thursday night, however, the opposing pitcher was even tougher to beat.
"He feeds off of aggressive swings and guys struggling," Hatteberg said of Maddux. "He can pick apart a team trying to find itself at the plate. You have to give him a lot of credit. He was sharp tonight. We were not."
With Thursday's defeat, the Reds were swept by Los Angeles and find themselves currently mired in the midst of a five-game losing streak. They've lost seven out of their last 10 games and have started this critical 10-game homestand 0-3. They remain 3 1/2 games behind the Cardinals and are now tied for the lead in the Wild Card race with Arizona.
"We're not going to win games like that," Valentin said of the team's offensive struggles. "I know we got swept, but tomorrow we'll come back and put everything together."