The Short Version: Behind two homers and 5 RBI from Johnny Bench and superb pitching from Gary Nolan and Will McEnaney, the Big Red Machine sweeps the New York Yankees and wins their second consecutive World Series championship!

Final — Game 4 R H E
Cincinnati Reds (4-0) 7 9 2
New York Yankees (0-4) 2 8 0
W: Nolan (1-0) L: Figueroa (0-2) S: McEnaney (2)
Box Score

The Good
–Johnny Bench, hitting seventh tonight for manager Sparky Anderson’s Reds, hit two home runs, including the two-run shot in the fourth inning that gave the Reds a lead they would not relinquish. Bench also drove in five runs, and he was named World Series MVP in a raucous post-game celebration.

–Gary Nolan gave up just two runs in 6.2 innings. Anderson lived up to his “Captain Hook” nickname again, pulling Nolan in the seventh after he surrendered a two-out single to Yankee catcher Thurman Munson. Will McEnaney came in and pitched the rest of the game, giving up only one walk and no hits or runs.

–Dave Concepcion had a single, a double, and a walk in four plate appearances. Cesar Geronimo also singled and doubled. Pete Rose picked up his third double of the series, as well.

The Bad
–Nothing bad. The Reds are world champs again, Sugar Bear!

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Down 1-0 in the fourth, Joe Morgan led off with a walk and eventually stole second base. Tony Perez and Dan Driessen were retired, but George Foster singled to left to tie the game. Bench then drove a 1-1 pitch deep down the left field line — just inside the foul pole — for a two-run homer that effectively ended the series.

–After eight innings, the score was just 3-2, but Cincinnati quickly broke the game wide open in the top of the ninth. Perez and Driessen each walked to open the frame and, one out later, Bench drilled his second homer of the game over the left field fence to make it 6-2. Geronimo and Concepcion followed with back-to-back ground rule doubles — both thanks to fan interference from moronic Yankee fans — that plated Cincinnati’s seventh run of the game, and the final run of an amazing season.

–Driessen was the designated hitter tonight. What a dumb new rule.

–The bottom four hitters in the Cincinnati lineup — Foster, Bench, Geronimo, Concepcion — were 7 for 14 with two homers, two doubles, two walks, and all 7 RBI. The rest of the magnificent Reds lineup went 2 for 19. Just like we saw all season, this team was able to get offensive production from everywhere in the lineup. And once again, it resulted in a championship.

–That’s back-to-back World Series wins for the Big Red Machine. You have to think they’ll be favorites to win again next year, and the year after, and the year after… In fact, the Reds will probably always be good at baseball, right?

–It wasn’t Tony Perez’ best game ever, but his leadership was off the charts in this series. I look forward to the Big Dog being a Cincinnati Red for the rest of his career.

–McEnaney went two and a third for the second consecutive night, picking up his second straight save. What a fireman!

–Ken Griffey was 0 for 5, but it was fun to see his 6-year-old son goofing around in the clubhouse with him after the game.

–Some yahoo was trying to make some money by picking up cans and bottles outside Yankee Stadium after the game, and he stopped me in my tracks with the strangest rantings I’ve ever heard. He told anyone who would listen that the 2018 Reds would lose to a team called the “Miami Marlins” by a score of 8-5, dropping the Reds to 8-26 on the season. I know 2018 is more than forty years away, but this franchise could never drop to those depths. I finished off my can of Tab and hurled it at his head.

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25 Responses

    • Ernest Howerton

      I had forgot about Tab,that’s even better than Fresca

  1. KDJ

    Enjoyed the post. But, you know it is bad when you feel the need to write about a game that took place over 40 years ago.

    • Mason Red

      It’s even worse when you remember vividly the game,the team and the franchise from 40 years ago. Without question 40 years is a long long time ago but to me it’s light years considering the current state of affairs with this franchise.

  2. Chad Dotson

    I just couldn’t bear to write about the 2018 Reds today.

  3. cfd3000

    Joey Votto is fairly good at hitting. Here’s hoping Brandon Finnegan has made his last start for a while and is on his way to Louisville to get properly ready to be an actual starting pitcher. Here’s hoping Amir Garrett is half as good in his place as I think he’ll be – because that would still be pretty great. Otherwise today was a lost day in the middle of a long lost stretch of Reds baseball. Thank goodness they play again tomorrow…

    • Sabr Chris

      I’ve got a feeling the Amir is getting groomed to be the closer once Iglesias is traded.

  4. Jeff Reed

    The Marlins, the team that Jeter took apart in the offseason, are seven games under .500 The Reds, who are in year whatever of the Rebuild, are eighteen games under .500 It appears the Marlins will beat the Reds in the race to be competitive.

  5. Jim Walker

    On the night the Reds won the 1976 World Series, Reds GM Bob Howsam, the public face of the team ownership, spoke of the upcoming changes that would be happening to in MLB due to the start of the free agent era. He said there might never be another team as good as the Reds had been because of them. But he has to be rolling in his repose at just hw far the Reds have fallen and the way they seem to be wallowing in this fall.

  6. Show Triple Slash

    Sweet memories. After earlier disappointments to the Orioles, A’s, and Mets, sweet memories.

  7. Broseph

    Perfect piece for a organization that is stuck on nostalgia. This ownership is reaping what they sow on holding on for too long – Frazier, Chapman, Bruce, Cueto and now Duvall and Gennett.

  8. Jim Walker

    Maybe it is just my eyes getting older; but, I swear every time I see Hamilton running my thought is that the guy just isn’t nearly as fast as he was just as recently as last year.

  9. kmartin

    Here are some numbers that highlight the problem having your starting pitcher knocked out early and the manager being forced to bring in an army of relief pitchers to finish the game.

    Pick any performance metric you want for a relief pitcher. Now assume the pitcher’s performance is normally distributed about his mean performance. If there are six relief pitchers as in the game today then the probability that at least one pitcher performs at least one standard deviation below his mean is 0.6453. The probability that at least two pitchers perform at least one standard deviation below the mean is 0.2440.

  10. kmartin

    I remember this game well. The highlight for me was Johnny Bench picking Craig Nettles off of second with a laser throw. I don’t think Nettles realized a catcher could throw like Bench.

  11. GreatRedLegsFan

    I just can think of how low has current ownership taken this glorious franchise, hopefully there should be a group of investors out there looking to take over. No regrets here, but I guess Bob C & Co. is not a wise baseball executive group.

  12. nicolecushing

    I was looking forward to a recap of the series with the Marlins titled “The Cincinnati Reds Sleep with the Fishes”.

  13. AMWills10

    The worst losses are to other rebuilding teams (Marlins, Phillies, Braves and in a way, Pirates, because they show us just how bad we are at rebuilding. Those teams are doing it right, by playing their prospects. (Acuna and Albies in ATL, Kingery in PHI, Anderson in MIA) so why can’t we do that with guys like Garrett, Stephenson and Senzel? Why can’t we send out some young guys who will be a part of the future instead of the same team that has shown us that they can’t play? I’d rather be non-competitive with prospects than with this team.

  14. Matt Esberger

    “They’re running like penguins! Forget this series!”
    “Oh my god Chambliss just split his pants”

  15. Jeff Reed

    Now we await a visit from Jay and the Toddfather. Then the Reds will visit Tony Cingrani and Johnny Cueto. How good things looked less than ten years ago. The inability or unwillingness of the owner/front office to retain Cueto to rebuild around is a key to the current situation. Iglesias will have to be the center of a trade to bring an ace pitcher to the Reds. As long as that’s missing, the Reds are going nowhere.

  16. Matt Esberger

    Seems like the 1976 team never gets the accolades as one of the greatest teams ever. I mean the they were something like 50 games over .500 when they Big 8 were in the line-up together and were 7-0 in the post season and with Bench & Perez having down years. Yet we romanticize the 75 team which barely got by Boston and didn’t take the lead in Game 7 until the 9th inning and could have easily lost both Game 2 & 3 but yet over time the mindset is that the 75 Reds dominated the Red Sox.

  17. Westfester

    Never a great sign when your starting pitcher begins the game by throwing 7 out of his first 8 pitches outside the zone. That pretty much seals it for me when it comes to Finnegan. I know there are arms out there that may not have as electric stuff that he has, but at least they know major league pitchers throw strikes.

  18. B-town Fan

    And he gave up a hit to Straily who is an 045 hitter, a terrible hitter, that was probably the last straw that got him pulled.

  19. Bill Lack

    I think I read recently that during this WS, the Reds only used 9 position players (counting the DH) during the Series.

    Everybody talks about the hitting, but this team had 4 starters that started over 20 games with ERA+ of over 100 (Nolan, Zachery, Norman, and Gullett). And 3 relievers (Eastwick, Borbon, and Sarmiento)