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Offense Figures To Be Plentiful as High-Scoring Reds Visit Miller Park for Spring Madness
 
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Offense Figures To Be Plentiful as High-Scoring Reds Visit Miller Park for Spring Madness

By Bill Batterman
Published 04/20/2006
 
Featured Player: Ben Sheets
Bio / Stats: [ link ]
 
 

After a disappointing 3-6 road trip in which the team lost a handful of close games, the Brewers are back home to host the Reds and their explosive offense for a four-game series. Cincinnati has scored 95 runs in 15 games to lead the National League, an average of more than 6 runs per contest. Led by slugger Adam Dunn, the Reds are also on top of the NL in home runs (29), doubles (39), total bases (270), runs batted in (89), on-base average (.372), slugging average (.529), and OPS (901). The next-closest team in that final category is the Rockies, a stunning 68 points behind the Reds. Dunn has been annihilating opposing pitchers, smacking eight home runs while drawing 15 walks for a .280/.433/.780 line through his first 15 games.

As potent as their offense has been, the Reds pitching staff has nearly cancelled it out. While the team scored 95 runs, it has allowed 94, second-worst in the NL to only the Pirates. Opposing batters have OPSed 879 against them, tied with the Phillies for worst in the league, and have allowed more home runs (26) than any other team in baseball.

Coming off a two-games-to-one series win against the Marlins, the Reds will be without star center-fielder Ken Griffey, Jr., who is out with a sore knee.

GAME TIMES & COVERAGE INFO:

Only two of the four games (Friday and Sunday) will be broadcast for local fans on FSN North but the entire series will be available online to out of market subscribers at MLB.tv.

This weekend marks the team’s annual Spring Madness promotion in which all $22 tickets and less are half price and both hot dogs and small Pepsi products are just a dollar. The first 10,000 kids 16 and under will also receive a set of Brewers Police Baseball Cards on Saturday.

The table below lists game times and broadcast availability; click on the date to view each game’s Weather.com Game Forecast.

Game Times / TV Schedule
Day Date Time TV
Thursday April 20th 7:05 PM CDT MLB.tv
Friday April 21st 7:05 PM CDT FSN North, MLB.tv
Saturday April 22nd 1:05 PM CDT MLB.tv
Sunday April 23rd 1:05 PM CDT FSN North, MLB.tv

As always, fans can also tune in to hear Bob Uecker and Jim Powell call the action over the team’s statewide radio network.

COVERAGE OF THE REDS:

The Reds have a fairly active online community of backers, many of whom converse at Reds Zone, a fan forum that includes in-game threads and general banter about the Cincinnati franchise. Featuring the mission statement Intelligent baseball discussion. Quality over quantity., RedsZone has implemented a unique reputation system that balances the competing goals of inclusiveness and intelligence that all message boards must confront.

Reds fans also have a wide variety of high-quality blogs to choose from including the even-better-than-before-despite-being-really-good-to-begin-with Red Hot Mama, which carefully and effectively blends humor with serious coverage of the team. Cincinnati’s SportsBlog Nation affiliate, Red Reporter, is another quality source of daily Reds-related writing while Redleg Nation, The Big Red Mechanic, Church of Baseball, and Reds (and Blues) are all worthwhile destinations. For those looking for something a little different, The Cutting Edge is providing a daily blog about the Reds’ 1976 season (along with occasional commentary about the 2006 club).

Newspaper coverage of the team is above-average, with the Cincinnati Post, Cincinnati Enquirer, and Dayton Daily News all providing top-notch writing. The latter is home to the stylings of Hall of Famer Hal McCoy,, winner of the 2002 Spink Award and veteran of 34 seasons, the longest tenure of any beat writer with a single team. According to his HOF profile, McCoy has covered more than “5,560 games, 900 spring training games and 500 post-season games.” If you only read one of the Reds’ papers, his is highly recommended.

Professional online coverage of the Reds is also strong, with the Post’s Marc Lancaster blogging from the press box and a team of writers headed by Mark Sheldon covering the team on its official site.

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS:

The Brewers are fortunate to miss Reds’ ace Aaron Harang while they take on four-fifths of the team’s rotation. Former-Red Sox Bronson Arroyo is the only probable Red starter with an opponents’ OPS below 1000.

Probable Starters
Game Pitcher R/L Age W-L ERA RA+ OPS VORP
Game 1 Tomo Ohka RHP 30 1-1 3.00 129 686 4.9
Dave Williams LHP 27 0-2 8.00 58 1008 -2.5
Game 2 Ben Sheets RHP 27 0-1 7.20 71 786 -0.5
Bronson Arroyo RHP 29 2-0 3.86 108 756 3.5
Game 3 Dave Bush RHP 26 1-1 5.21 91 702 1.6
Brandon Claussen LHP 26 1-1 3.18 142 1019 5.3
Game 4 Doug Davis LHP 30 0-1 8.24 63 1109 -3.9
Eric Milton LHP 30 2-1 6.50 75 1235 -0.9

Ben Sheets will get his second start of the year on Friday as he takes on Brandon Claussen.

THE REST OF THE NL CENTRAL:

Another series loss has dropped the Brewers into fifth place in the division, two back of the front-running Astros and four in front of the last-place Pirates.

NL Central Standings
Team W L PCT GB ST L10 RS RA
Houston Astros 10 5 .667 L1 7-3 88 77
Chicago Cubs 9 5 .643 0.5 W1 6-4 73 58
Cincinnati Reds 9 6 .600 1.0 W1 5-5 95 94
St. Louis Cardinals 9 6 .600 1.0 W1 6-4 72 61
Milwaukee Brewers 8 7 .533 2.0 W1 3-7 74 76
Pittsburgh Pirates 5 12 .294 6.0 L1 4-6 82 100

LOOKING AHEAD:

When the Reds depart for Washington, the Brewers will welcome the Braves to Milwaukee for a three-game series to conclude the homestand and a tough stretch of 15-games-in-15-days. A short trip down I-94 to Chicago to take on the Cubs will finish off the team’s April schedule.

About the Author:

Bill Batterman is a writer for brewerfan.net. He welcomes comments and suggestions via email at batman@brewerfan.net.



 
The Daily Brew is a near-daily column covering the Milwaukee Brewers baseball organization published exclusively at brewerfan.net.
 

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