The Great American Baseball Trip

Game 9

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinatti Reds

Tuesday, July 1, 1997 - 7:35pm

Riverfront Stadium

Cincinnati, Ohio

Pre-Game Report
 The only game in the majors that nobody seems to care about and I had to include it on my trip. This game doesn't offer much beyond the inter-league angle, but maybe we'll get lucky and see a high scoring game or a really nice pitchers duel.

Stadium Stats - Riverfront Stadium

Surface: Astroturf
Capacity: 52,952
Dimensions: Left Field: 330 feet, Center Field: 404 feet, Right Field: 330 feet

baseball diamond image

Team Profiles
Brewers's Logo

Milwaukee Brewers

 This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Milwaukee Braves World Series upset of the New York Yankees. Unfortunately, it appears that the Brewers will not be able to bring a title to Wisconsin like the Packers. However, the early stages of construction of their new stadium last year's late season rebuilding effort have created optimism in the city of Beer. And, while the Brewers are a long way from making the playoffs, manager Phil Garner will keep this team motivated and moving in the right direction all season.

 The Brewers enter the season with four solid starting pitchers. Former Oriole Ben McDonald, Cal Eldred, Scott Karl and Jeff D'Amico are each capable of winning 12 to 15 games. While McDonald and Eldred are proven starters, D'Amico, the youngest starter in team history, and Karl will probably need some time to improve throughout the season. Mike Fetters has been a solid closer for several years, and the addition of Milwaukee native Bob Wickman, Ron Villone and the ageless Doug Jones have made the Brewers bullpen capable of shutting down opponents in the final innings.

 Offensively and defensively, the Brewers roster is extremely talented but inconsistent. Shortstop Jose Valentin had a breakthrough season offensively, but suffered defensively last season committing 37 errors. Joining him in the infield are Fernando Vina and pickup Jeff Cirllo who batted .325 with 15 homers last season. In the outfield, Chuckie Carr is coming off knee surgery and will stand with rifle-armed Jeremy Burnitz, Marc Newfield, who should provide needed pop in the lineup, and Matt Mieske who Garner will count on to terrorize left-handed pitching.

Reds Logo

Cincinatti Reds

 Last season, the Reds experienced first hand what cutting the payroll meant. Following the 1995 season, the Reds dispatched David Wells, Ron Gant, Benito Santiago, Mike Jackson and Mariano Duncan and finished the season out of first place for the first time since being assigned to the National League's Central Division.

 Now, with a payroll even lower than last season's, Manager Ray Night is charged with rebuilding this team, while depending on the few shining stars that remain. The Reds rotation, led by Pete Schourek, the 1995 Cy Young Award runner up, John Smiley and Dave Burba will give the Reds solid innings throughout the season. But, with Jose Rijo plagued by injury, the Reds are left without a proven fourth or fifth starter. Luckily, the bullpen is strong, including Jeff Brantley and newcomer Stan Belinda.

 The tough part will be getting the bullpen a lead late in the game. Cincinnati's bright spot continues to be Barry Larkin, the 1995 MVP and member of the 30/30 club (first shortstop in history). The Reds infield is strong defensively, but Hal Morris and Bret Boone have struggled at the plate and third baseman Terry Pendleton is past his prime. Reggie Sanders and Deion Sanders in the outfield, assuming they stay injury free, are sure to add flare and speed to the lineup, but are not enough to bring the Reds back to the promised land.

Post-Game Report
 Unpleasant doesn't even describe the Reds Management. And the stadium leaves much to be desired. But the Reds players on the field know how to put on a show -- namely a 9-1 whacking of the Milwaukee Brewers. Click here for all the details. . .

Highlights from the Queen City

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