Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Round 1: "Red Storm Rising" - Reds (4) take out Braves (5) in a hard fought series 3 games to 1.

Game 1 - "May-Day"
While 1968 may have been the year of the pitcher, it wasn’t for these two teams. The Reds took the game 6 to 5 in 10 innings. The Reds scored two in the 8th to tie the score and got the game winning RBI in the bottom of the 10th from Game 1 MVP Lee May. May went 3 for 5 with 2 RBIs. None of the pitchers pitched well enough to be mentioned other than the fact that Reds pitchers walked 13 Braves.
Game 2 - "Tony, Tony, Tony"
Almost a repeat of Game 1. The Reds tied the score at 2 in the bottom of the 6th. It stayed that way until the Reds were able to push across a run in the bottom of the 11th inning for a 3-2 victory. For some reason Jim Maloney was named MVP lasting 7.2 innings giving up 1 earned run on 4 hits. In my mind Tony Perez should have earned those honors going 4 for 4 with 2 RBIs and a game tying homerun. Series now shifts to the launching pad in Atlanta.
Game 3 - "A-Run here and there"
Another tightly contested contest. The Braves came out on top with a well earned 6-5 win. The Reds got off to a quick 3-0 lead but a grand slam by Hammerin’ Hank Aaron in the 5th put the Braves up 4-3. The Braves added an insurance run in the 8th which was needed as the Reds scored once in the 9th and threatened for more before Dick Kelley got the last out. Ron Reed settled down after the 1st two innings and went 8 for the win.
Game 4 - "Culver Line"
George Culver tossed a 3 hit shut out to lead the Reds to 4-0 victory and the next round in the 1968 playoffs. The Reds struck for all the runs Culver would need in the 4th on Johnny Bench’s 2 run homer, which was his first hit of the series.
Special thanks to Michael Hopcroft for stepping in at the last minute to guide the Braves. Fantastic job. This was a close series as you would expect between the number 4 and 5 seeds.
--submitted by Ron Burnette--

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