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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Today in Baseball (4/22/06)

Just a few quick things:

Red Hot Mama Interviews Tom Browning
In her ongoing quest to take over the world, Red Hot Mama has an exclusive podcast interview with Tom Browning about his book, Tom Browning's Tales from the Dugout. Browning's one of the more enjoyable personalities from the 1990 Reds World Series team, and it's great to hear from him again. I still have a this clear memory of him sitting there on the roof of a Waveland Avenue house, waving to the other Reds players in the Wrigley Field dugout with a huge s$#%-eating grin on his face. I know he got in trouble for that, but it had to be worth every minute.

I do hope they continue to involve past Reds stars in an official capacity with the Reds' franchise like they did this past spring--it's a great development.

Reds made history today
Today was just the fifth time in the history of baseball in which five home runs were given up in the same inning. Of course, this is something of a tradition for the Reds. As Marc Lancaster points out, the Reds have been on the giving end of this feat four of the five times it has ever happened: 1939, 1949, 1961, and now 2006. It's nice to see our team carrying on traditions from our rich history. I just wish it was a tradition that actually helped us win ballgames...

Milton to miss Sunday start; may be available Monday
Bad news tonight: Marc Lancaster reports that Eric Milton is suffering from discomfort in his left knee. Harang will pitch in his stead. Narron was cautiously optimistic that Milton might be able to start on Monday instead, but reading between the lines, I have a feeling this might not happen. If they want to avoid making a roster move for a short-term injury, the only real option for a spot-start is Matt Belisle. If they make a roster move, placing Milton on the DL, it may be Darrell May, who is Louisville's scheduled starter for Monday (yikes)... I'd much rather see Justin Germano, but I'm not sure what his pitching schedule has been (and I'm too lazy to look it up right now).

I'll echo RHM here: I am somewhat glad to hear this news, as it provides some reason for Milton's ineffectiveness in his last outing. Even if it wasn't "bothering" him then, it could have still been slightly injured and therefore a bit weak. I read somewhere that he wasn't breaking 90 mph in his most recent start, while I saw him hit 94 mph vs. Chicago on April 13th. However, given his history of knee problems, there is some cause for concern that this might be something a bit more serious. Let's hope not. We could really use a healthy Milton of the sort we saw in his first two starts this year ... and it's nice to see a guy having success after the sort of year he had last year.

Win Expectancy Graphs Available
FanGraphs is now releasing daily Win Expectancy graphs for all major league baseball games. For those who haven't seen these, they essentially calculate the probability that the home team will win a game on a play-by-play basis throughout each game. The resulting graph shows how the odds change over the course of a game with each play. The way the Reds' games have been going this season, these graphs can be pretty lively (see especially the graph for the Reds' amazing comeback over the Marlins on April 19th). They also provide a list, for each game, of the players who had the biggest effect on win expectancy. Nice resource to have.