One-Hit Wonders: Randy Myers to Dennys Reyes

This is Part 10 of a 13-part series examining the 65 men who have collected exactly one hit as a member of the San Diego Padres. The current installment features a man involved in Kevin Towers’ worst trade as Padres GM, two members of the inaugural 1969 squad, a man once traded for Randy Wolf, and a journeyman reliever who became great after leaving San Diego.

Randy Myers

Pos: LHP
Years: 1992, 1998

87  7 0 1  0  0  0   0  0 5 .143 .143 .143 -19

Despite his mediocre (or worse) showing in two stints with the Padres, Myers was a darned good reliever. He was originally selected by the New York Mets with the ninth pick overall in the 1982 June draft, secondary phase (a right-hander out of Brigham Young named Kevin Towers was the first pick) and worked primarily as a starter in the minor leagues. Myers, like many young pitchers, threw hard but had trouble finding home plate.

In 1986, the Mets moved Myers to the bullpen at Triple-A Tidewater. After getting into a handful of games with the big club that year, Myers helped bridge the gap between the starters and Roger McDowell/Jesse Orosco in 1987.

A year later, Myers took over as closer and established himself as one of the best in baseball. After the 1989 season, Myers was traded to Cincinnati, where as head of the “Nasty Boys” bullpen he helped lead the Reds to a World Series title.

Myers came to San Diego in a December 1991 trade that sent Bip Roberts to the Reds. On September 2, 1992, during a 5-4 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, Myers stepped to the plate against southpaw Frank DiPino. With one out in the ninth, Myers grounded an 0-1 offering past second baseman Geromino Pena but was left stranded when Tony Fernandez lined out and Tony Gwynn grounded out. Myers “earned” his 30th save despite allowing 2 runs on 4 hits over 2 innings.

After continuing to bounce around MLB for a few more years, Myers retired in 1998. His career ended with the Padres, who acquired him from Toronto that August for Brian Loyd. GM Towers, convinced that Atlanta wanted the left-hander, put in a claim and gave the Blue Jays a 24-year-old A-ball catcher in exchange for $783,000 per inning of 6.75 ERA pitching.

Myers’ unusual personality — he was famous for keeping a grenade paperweight and gas mask in his locker, as well as for once decking a drunken fan who rushed the mound at Wrigley Field — may have kept him from staying in any one place too long. He led the National League in saves twice and the American League once. As of this writing, his total of 347 saves ranks ninth all time in big-league history.

Johnny Podres

Pos: LHP
Years: 1969

17 16 0 1  0  0  0   1  0 3 .063 .059 .063 -65

Podres was his generation’s Bruce Hurst or Mike Hampton. The expansion San Diego Padres coaxed the veteran with the curiously similar last name out of retirement after a year away from the game.

Aside from a brilliant May, when he primarily worked out of the bullpen, Podres’ stay in San Diego was forgettable. The man who once shut out the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 1955 World Series as a 23-year-old had nothing left to offer.

On April 9, in his first start for the Padres, Podres combined with reliever Tommie Sisk on a three-hit shutout over Houston (I’ve covered this game in detail). He also knocked the final hit of his big-league career.

With one out in the fifth, Podres singled to left against right-hander Larry Dierker. Earlier in the contest, Podres drove home Ed Spiezio with a sacrifice fly that accounted for the second of two runs scored in this game.

Although Podres did little for the Padres, he enjoyed a fine career, posting a 148-116 record and 3.68 ERA (105 ERA+) over parts of 15 seasons. His best work came in 1957, when he led the NL in ERA (2.66), ERA+ (156), and shutouts (6). Podres also sparkled in the postseason, going 4-1 with a 2.11 ERA and winning three championships with the Dodgers.

Frank Reberger

Pos: RHP
Years: 1969

67  5 0 1  0  0  0   0  0 3 .200 .200 .200  15

Another member of the original Padres, Reberger played his collegiate ball at Idaho. There, he teamed with former Montreal Expos GM Bill Stoneman, who was taken three picks ahead of Reberger in the expansion draft. Reberger was sort of the Vicente Palacios (talk about obscure Padres!) of his day.

After a poor start, Reberger became one of the Padres’ more reliable relievers in ’69. From June onward, he posted a 2.69 ERA in 43 games. Unfortunately, the poor start caused manager Preston Gomez to lose faith in Reberger, who didn’t see many leads after May; the Padres went just 7-36 in those games.

On October 2, in the season finale at Candlestick Park, Reberger came on in relief of starter Clay Kirby. After working a perfect eighth, Reberger singled with one out in the ninth off right-hander Ron Herbel.

Reberger closed out the Giants in the bottom half, retiring the dangerous Jim Ray Hart and Bobby Bonds in the process (amusingly, between those two, Willie McCovey reached on a bunt single). Reberger recorded the final hit and final save of the Padres’ inaugural campaign.

Two months later, Reberger was traded to San Francisco for catcher Bob Barton, third baseman Bobby Etheridge, and — wait for it — Herbel. Reberger spent three seasons with the Giants, finishing his big-league career in 1972 with a 14-15 record and 4.52 ERA (82 ERA+).

Chad Reineke

Pos: RHP
Years: 2008

4  6 1 1  0  0  0   1  0 4 .167 .167 .167  -7

Six men in Padres history have collected exactly one hit for the club, scored one run, and driven in one: Frankie Libran (1969), Tim Stoddard (1986), Ronn Reynolds (1990), Ricky Bones (1991), Pedro Astacio (2005), and Reineke. Selected by the Astros out of Miami University (Bill Doran, Charlie Leibrandt, Tim Naehring… Steve Fireovid of the ’81-’83 Padres), Reineke came to San Diego in a July 2008 trade that sent left-hander Randy Wolf to Houston.

On August 16, at home against the Phillies, Reineke made his big-league debut. With two out in the fourth and the Padres trailing, 3-1, he stepped in against right-hander Kyle Kendrick and lined a 3-2 pitch to center field, scoring Chase Headley from third. Reineke later scored on a Brian Giles double. By the end of the inning, the Padres had taken a 6-3 lead and knocked Kendrick from the contest.

Reineke worked a scoreless fifth and then yielded to the bullpen. The Padres tacked on two late runs en route to an 8-3 victory.

The Padres traded Reineke to Oakland for outfielder Danny Putnam the following spring. Reineke made one start for the A’s in 2009, but hasn’t been heard from since. In 2010, at age 29, he went 9-9 with a 3.91 ERA for Triple-A Louisville of the Cincinnati Reds organization.

Dennys Reyes

Pos: LHP
Years: 2005

36  5 0 1  0  0  0   0  0 2 .200 .200 .200  10

I like to think of the Padres as unwitting catalysts for Reyes’ career revival. It’s a cockamamie theory, but look at this:

                 IP  ERA ERA+
Before Padres 476.0 4.76  96
With Padres    43.2 5.15  75
After Padres  205.1 2.63 161

Among Reyes’ most similar pitchers is Chuck McElroy, another left-hander who didn’t do much in a brief stay with the Padres. McElroy went 0-for-3 while he was here, but Reyes got his hit.

On July 5, 2005, Reyes made what appears to have been his final big-league start, at Minute Maid Park in Houston. With the game tied, 1-1, Reyes lined a single to center off right-hander Brandon Backe to start the fifth.

Reyes didn’t survive the bottom half. With one out, Craig Biggio homered. Then Lance Berkman doubled and Morgan Ensberg was intentionally walked, bringing up Jason Lane. Right-hander Brian Falkenborg came on to face Lane and served up a three-run bomb.

The Padres lost, 6-2. Chad Qualls, now with San Diego, closed the game for the Astros.

Reyes made three more appearances for the Padres — all in relief, all awful — before being released on July 17. Minnesota signed him the following spring and he magically transformed into a top reliever. Go figure.

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And then there were links…

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2 Responses »

  1. Ding, ding, ding… we have a winner:

    “I never go to a fashion show thinking, “She’s hot, but I wish her slider had a sharper break.”