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)|
–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.
–Nothing bad. The Reds are world champs again, Sugar Bear!
–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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Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at firstname.lastname@example.org.