Claussen leads Reds in Busch finale
Cincinnati (73-88) at St. Louis (99-62), 2:15 p.m. ET
The Reds' season finale isn't likely to include any cliffhangers.The biggest piece of suspense involving this club -- the managerial position -- was solved a few days ago when Jerry Narron's interim tag was removed. And all player evaluations from the team's coaches have been submitted to general manager Dan O'Brien for offseason review. So Sunday's finale against the NL Central champion Cardinals will be just that -- a finale. Nothing more. That doesn't mean the Reds wouldn't like to go out on a high note, though. And it doesn't mean Brandon Claussen wouldn't like to go out with a winning record. The left-handed Claussen can ensure that he does if he beats the Cards in the final regular-season game at Busch Stadium. Claussen's splendid September came to a not-so-splendid conclusion when he gave up five runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings in a loss to the Brewers on Tuesday. Before that start, he had gone 1-0 with a 1.67 ERA in three September starts. Claussen is expected to be one of the young anchors for next season's rotation. He is 1-2 with a 4.76 ERA in his career against the Cards. Pitching matchup:
CIN: LHP Brandon Claussen
10-10, 4.01 ERA in 2005
1-2, 5.64 ERA vs. STL in 2005 STL: RHP Matt Morris
14-10, 3.94 ERA in 2005
1-0, 1.39 ERA vs. CIN in 2005 Player to watch
Adam Dunn. He hasn't had much luck at all against Morris in the past. In 31 at-bats, he's notched just six hits. Dunn is closing out a year in which he's become the first Reds player to notch consecutive seasons of 100 runs, 100 walks and 100 RBIs. Quotable
"I'm just big on routine plays. Making the routine plays every time." -- Narron, on his managerial philosophy On the Internet
Official game notes On television
STL: WB11-TV On radio
CIN: WLW 700
STL: KMOX 1120 Quick hits
Ramon Ortiz's 34 home runs allowed this season fell one shy of the club record for a right-hander (Sammy Ellis, 35 home runs in 1966) and are the most by a Reds right-hander since Bill Gullickson allowed 33 in 1987. ... Ortiz and Eric Milton combined to give up 74 home runs this season. ... The Reds are 119-138 all-time at Busch Stadium, including 1-5 this year. ... Felipe Lopez hit his 22nd homer of the season Saturday, Austin Kearns hit his 17th and Edwin Encarnacion hit his ninth. ... The Reds fell to a season-high 26 games out of first place with Saturday's loss.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.