With Barry Larkin and the rest of Reds Nation waiting to hear if he gets into the Hall Of Fame, I wanted to see what pitchers he did well against. I also added which ones struck him out the most and hit him the most. I have said many times on many different blogs that I really think this is the first big news for the Cincinnati Reds in 2012. 2012 will go down as the year Barry Larkin made it into the Hall of Fame and the Reds won the World Series!
Barry Larkin most hits against pitchers (career)
H Tom Glavine 29 Greg Maddux 26 Andy Benes 24 John Smoltz 24 Doug Drabek 23
Barry Larkin most home runs against pitchers (career)
HR Jim Deshaies 5 Zane Smith 4 Donovan Osborne 4 Tom Glavine 3 John Smoltz 3
Barry Larkin most walks against pitchers (career)
BB Tom Glavine 14 Denny Neagle 8 Danny Jackson 8 Terry Mulholland 7 Mike Hampton 7
Barry Larkin most strike outs against pitchers (career)
SO Greg Maddux 11 Andy Benes 9 Fernando Valenzuela 9 Mike Bielecki 8 John Smoltz 7
Barry Larkin most HBP against pitchers (career) – Larkin had 2 plate appearances against Joaquin Andujar and got hit both times.
HBP Ron Darling 4 Greg Maddux 2 Dennis Martinez 2 Jose DeLeon 2 Joaquin Andujar 2
I have been reading a lot of blogs lately and one theme I am seeing a lot with Reds fans is that people are not happy with the lack of movement this offseason. Walt Jocketty once again is saying he is trying but nothing is happening. It does not surprise me that nothing has been done yet and to tell you the truth I am happy that nothing has been done. It means Walt is not going to give up our prospects for players he feels don’t deserve it. Many of us can point fingers freely and say it is all Walt’s fault or it is all Dusty’s fault but we do not realize that the other teams might be trying to get way too much for a player that really does not deserve it. I would not want to see the Reds trade away Yonder Alonso and one of their catching prospects for someone like Huston Street. I would probably crawl into a snow bank and not come out until it melted.
How about four of the Reds top prospects for Jair Jurrjens? Are you off your meds? I am glad none of these rumors came true, it shows that the front office will not trade away the future for someone who might not even help us for one season. If they want to win this year they will have to make a move but we really need to determine as fans what we want. Do we want them to win one Championship or many of them? I for one would love to see them in the playoffs for many seasons so keeping our young prospects is a very good idea. I don’t think trading three or four of them away in one trade is really a smart move right now. I don’t care if Greg Maddux and Pedro Martinez type pitchers are up for trades, I would rather keep our prospects. What if Yonder Alonso does awesome in left field in 2012 and becomes rookie of the year? What if one of the Reds young pitchers goes on to become one of the best closers in baseball because the Reds took a chance and let him play that role? And what if Yasmani Grandal goes on to become another Johnny Bench for the Reds? Do you really want to trade these guys away for one player who will get killed in Great American Ball Park? Don’t get me wrong, if Walt can get one of those types of pitchers for one prospect and other players to be named later than I say go for it, but I really don’t think they could ever get a top of the rotation Ace without giving up most of the farm system.
Being an armchair GM for many years now I must say I am very pleased with how Walt Jocketty is handling this team. I get frustrated sometimes and wish he would make a move but I do understand that holding our players at a certain value and not just sending them away for a player to be named later is not an easy task. Many factors come into play that a lot of us might not understand. We also have to remember that the Reds are not to big into the whole Money Ball idea right now as far as I have read and Walt is going off of what his scouts and staff say. And I really am getting used to not seeing the Reds do much during the offseason. Another great thing about this offseason is that teams in the National League Central are losing their top players while the Reds just sit and watch. They might also be waiting to see where Prince Fielder goes before making any moves at all especially now that the Machine Albert Pujols is gone to the Angels.
If the team finishes below .500 again in 2012 I don’t think fans will have to wait much longer for something to happen. I think Walt and Dusty will be on the ropes and as fans begin to find other things to spend their money on the owners will step in and tell Walt and Dusty to move on. The Reds would then have to hire a whole new front office and that might have Reds fans wishing Walt and Dusty were back.
When I was younger I cheered for the Cincinnati Reds and at that time if there ever was a team that I couldn’t stand playing against them it was the Atlanta Braves. Of course on the Braves there were a few pitchers that really pushed me over the edge, John Smoltz (1988-2009) and Tom Glavine. (1987-2008) Now that I look back I am happy I had a chance to watch these great pitchers pitch but they sure didn’t win any awards from me back then. Another great pitcher that I loved to watch was their teammate, Greg Maddux. (1986-2008) Maddux is the topic today as we take a look at his career but mostly at which hitters hit well against him. To be more specific, one hitter who hit very well against him, Mickey Morandini. (1990 – 2000)
Mickey Morandini played 9 years with Philadelphia Phillies who drafted him in the 5th round of the 1988 amateur draft. He also played 2 years with the Cubs and 35 games with the Blue Jays. He debuted on September 1, 1990 for the Phillies in a game versus San Diego Padres where he pinch hit in the bottom of the 7th inning for Sil Campusano (1988-1991) (CF) batting first and playing second base going one for two with one run. His first at bat he saw six pitches from Padres pitcher Eric Show. (1981-1991) (ball, ball, foul, foul, ball and he hit a fly ball to Left field getting him out.) Then in the bottom of the 10th he saw one pitch by Greg Harris (1988-1995) which he hit a single thru second base and first into right field. Rod Booker then pinch hit and bunted to get him over to second base. Von Hayes (1981-1992) got an intentional walk, Dale Murphy (1976-1993) struck out swinging and John Kruk (1986-1995) came up and hit a single into center field scoring Morandini to win the game for the Phillies 3 – 2.
Before writing this I never knew much about Mickey Morandini and to tell you the truth I probably wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for the fact that he hit very well versus Greg Maddux in his career. In 100 plate appearances he had 130 at bats and hit 32 times with 3 doubles, 4 triples, 1 home run, 8 runs batted in, 4 walks and Maddux struck him out 18 times. Giving him a .344 batting average, .371 on base percentage, .495 slugging and a .866 on base slugging percentage which was good enough to put him in the top five list of best hitters versus Greg Maddux in his career. When I first looked at the list I saw familar names that I knew would be at the top, like Tony Gwynn (1982-2001) with 39 hits, Craig Biggio (1988-2007) with 38, Luis Gonzalez (1990-2008) with 36 and of course Barry Bonds (1986-2007) with 34. I really did not expect to see Micky Morandini and I just had to find out more about him.
It all started in 1990 where Morandini had 3 hits with 7 at bats against Maddux who only struck him out once. In 1991 he went 3 for 11 versus Maddux with one triple and one walk. 1992 Morandini went 7 for 12 with one triple, one run batted in, one walk and got struck out by Maddux three times. In 1993 he only got one hit out of twelve at bats, getting one double and one walk with Maddux striking him out four times. In 1994 Morandini only had 2 at bats versus Maddux where he did not get a hit, which was also the case in 1995 where he had ten at bats and didn’t get a hit, striking out three times. In 1996 he started hitting against Maddux again going 5 for 14 with two triples and striking out twice. 1997 he went 3 for 6 getting his only homerun off of Maddux and two runs batted in with no strike outs. In 1998 he went 2 for 7 with one double and got two runs batted in with Maddux striking him out three times. His best season against Maddux was in 1999 where he went 5 for 8 with one double and getting one run batted in with no strike outs against him. Morandini went 3 for 7 with one walk, two runs batted in and got struck out two times by Maddux in their last year against each other in 2000.
The first time these two men met was on Wednesday, September 12, 1990, at Wrigley Field. Philadelphia Phillies vs. Chicago Cubs. Morandini went one for two against Maddux. He was hitting 8th for the Phillies in the batting order that day. In his first at bat versus Maddux (top of the 2nd) he saw two pitches, the first a ball then the other he groundout to the third baseman. His second at bat (top of the 6th) he saw four pitches from Maddux, a ball, one he fouled off, another ball and a line drive deep to center field between shortstop and second base for a single. Darren Daulton (1983-1997) would later come up that inning and hit a single into center field to score Morandini. The Cubs went on to win that game 9 – 3 with Maddux getting the win which gave him a 13-13 record at that time.
Mickey Morandini had two great games against Greg Maddux, the first was on Sunday, May 12, 1996, at Veterans Stadium where he went 3 for 3 with one single and two triples, scoring all three times and getting a stolen base which was actually him stealing home. Phillies went on to win that game 6 – 0 against the Braves giving Maddux the loss which gave him a 4 – 3 record. His second big game against Maddux was on Saturday, May 15, 1999, at Wrigley Field. Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago Cubs. Morandini was batting 8th in the order for the Cubs that night and went 4 for 4 against Maddux. He got a double and three singles scoring one run and getting one run batted in. The Cubs went on to win that game 5 – 1 with Greg Maddux getting the loss giving him a 4 – 3 record that season.
Mickey Morandini finished his career with a .268 batting average, a .338 on base percentage and with a .359 for slugging over the span of 11 seasons. He was an All-Star in 1995 and won the National League MVP in 1998. He was also a very good second baseman getting 1st for fielding % in 1998 with a .993 and of course getting second in 92, 93, 97 and in 99. His biggest salary was $2,000,000 a season for the Cubs which was for two years. He ended up getting roughly $10,855,000 for his whole career which to me is not a lot of money considering the pay checks those other hitters got that are in the top five best hitters versus Greg Maddux.