Notes: Harang brushes off tough outing
Right-hander allows four runs, eight hits in five innings
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Right-hander Aaron Harang had a simple explanation for his outing Sunday against the Braves."You're gonna have those days, you know," Harang said. Put it another way, Harang didn't see his five-inning, eight-hit, nine-strikeout, four-run outing as anything that should concern anybody. He threw, as he said, only one ball that was hit like a rocket, and that was the pitch that Jeff Francoeur drove over the wall in the first inning for a two-run homer. Aside from that ball, Harang gave up seeing-eye singles and lazy liners here and there. "You're gonna give up those little hits that just find the hole or drop in -- or broken bat [hits]," he said. "I think there were three or four of those grounders that went right up the middle or took an awkward hop."
Harang said he thought most of those hits came off his offspeed pitches, which made him wonder aloud whether the Braves were seeing something whenever he threw his slow stuff.No big deal now, he said afterward. His goal was to build up his pitch count, and he did. "Right now, you make sure that your pitch count is built up and ready to go so you can last 100, 110 pitches the first game out," said Harang, who led the National League last season in strikeouts (216) and complete games (six). "I mean, that's really where you want to be at. You don't want to be under that going into the first game of the season." Reds on air: FSN Ohio, the TV rights-holder for the Reds, will broadcast its 2007 season preview of the ballclub on Monday at 10 p.m. ET. And the question is ...: What was the longest games in terms of innings the Reds have ever played. Who was their opponent? [See answer below] Did you know: The first home of baseball's original professional team was named the "Union Grounds," and the ballpark was located near the site of the current Union Terminal. A section called "Grand Duchess" anchored the ballpark, which seated 4,000 fans. Union Grounds served as home for the Cincinnati franchise from 1869 to 1870.
Reds notes: Outfielder Josh Hamilton isn't letting shin splints get the best of him. He was back in the Reds outfield for the game against the Braves. ... Outfielder Ryan Freel [sore hamstring] took batting practice Sunday, but he's still not expected to see Grapefruit League action until Tuesday. ... Veteran closer Eddie Guardado, trying to rebound from Tommy John surgery, will throw a bullpen session on Monday. ... Catcher David Ross celebrates birthday No. 30 on Monday. ... Reliever Dustin Hermanson has retired the nine batters he's faced this spring. He has two strikeouts. ... Reliever Victor Santos leads the staff with two saves. Santos has not allowed a run in 8 2/3 innings. He has eight strikeouts and no walks. ... With his single in the first, second baseman Brandon Phillips has a seven-game hitting streak.Honor role: Vera Clemente, widow of the Pirates great, will be one of the three people Major League Baseball will honor March 31 in Memphis, Tenn., as part of its Civil Rights Game ceremonies. Clemente will receive one of the inaugural "Beacon Awards" in recognition of her efforts on behalf of civil rights around the world. The late Buck O'Neil and filmmaker Spike Lee will also receive the award. Play ball! For Opening Day, former Reds star Eric Davis will be grand marshal of the 88th Findlay Market Parade, and recording artist Gia Farrell will sing the National Anthem. The answer is ... On Sept. 1, 1967, the Reds lost a 21-inning game to the San Francisco Giants, 1-0. Quotable: "I think they're gonna be fine. They're both athletic, and they've worked hard together. They know each other, and they've gotten to know each other's little nuances." -- Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky, on his infield duo of shortstop Alex Gonzalez and second baseman Phillips Next up: The Reds travel to Lakeland, Fla., to play the Tigers on Monday. Right-hander Bronson Arroyo gets the start, and he'll face veteran left-hander Kenny Rogers in a 1:05 p.m. ET game from Joker Marchant Stadium.
Justice B. Hill is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.