This shitty season is finally lurching to its end, with one last farewell tour through the Central. But instead of saying goodbye to old friends and their drunk fans and familiar ballparks, this feels more like good riddance to shitty neighbors you never want to see again. Especially the ones who have the worst backyard cookouts and let their stupid dogs shit all over the place.
When I was a kid, I think the Reds were my first favorite team. I didn’t live close enough to Houston to get the Astros on TV, and the Rangers weren’t around yet. But on the Game of the Week I’d see Johnny Bench and this rookie Pete Rose, and that seemed like a good team to follow. My parents finally made me quit practicing my headfirst slide after I knocked the wind out of my asthmatic self one too many times.
Which was just as well, because luckily I got older and outgrew the shit-bag Reds. And I never really thought about the fuckers again until the Astros ended up in the Central. One of the most satisfying bets I ever won was against a Reds fan during the playoff runs in the late ’90s. She had to cook dinner for me and my wife, and planned on making goddamn noodle chili until my wife heard about it and put a stop to that nonsense. I think we had enchiladas or something; I couldn’t really taste it because of all the gloating I was doing.
And those are really the only times I ever paid much attention to the dumbshit Reds, except to laugh out loud at them when appropriate. But now here we are now, looking up at the goddamn Dickities on top of the division, and they’re damn near leading the whole National League. The only team above them is the ExpoNationals, if you can believe that shit. This neighborhood has gone straight to hell, and I don’t really think I’ll miss it.
At least this is the last time we’ll have to hear about Cincinnati’s shit-awful chili and family backyard cornhole tournaments. Unless the assholes get to the World Series, in which case get ready for the Skyline Cornhole craze to sweep the nation. No one’s backyard would ever be safe again.
I think maybe I could root for the American League after all.
Great American Ball Park
Friday, September 7, 6:10 p.m. CDT
Saturday, September 8, 6:10 p.m. CDT
Sunday, September 9, 12:10 p.m. CDT
Friday – Free Agent Friday
I thought maybe this was the time for all the Astros who expect to be without a contract next year to have a tryout. But it turns out it’s just some lame drink specials for Reds fans to get shitfaced if they wear a stupid free agent sticker or some shit.
Lucas Harrell (10-9, 3.81) v. Homer Bailey (10-9, 4.09)
Harrell has faced the Reds three times this season and got a win against them last weekend. Most of the Reds hit him well, particularly Jay Bruce who is 4-for-7 with two doubles and a homer.
Bailey has faced the Astros twice this year with no record to show for it, though his record in years past is 4-0. Most of the Astros have seen him, but without much to show for it. J.D. Martinez, Justin Maxwell, and Chris Snyder each have a homer off him.
Bud Norris (5-11, 4.80) v. Bronson Arroyo (5-11, 3.76)
Norris is on a freaking 10-game losing streak and hasn’t won since May. He’s pitched better in his last three starts, but whatever. Devin Mesoraco is 3-for-5 against him with a double and a homer. Joey Votto also has a homer off him.
Arroyo hasn’t lost since early August, and probably hasn’t had a haircut since last August. Current Astros are a collective 18-for-100 against him, with the only homer coming from Justin Maxwell.
Edgar Gonzalez (1-0, 1.69) v. Johnny Cueto (17-7, 2.58)
Gonzalez was signed out of the Mexican League, and made his first MLB start in nearly three years on Sunday. He held the Pirates to one run in 5+ innings. Miguel Cairo and Brandon Phillips batted against him at some point in the past, and Phillips went 3-for-6 with a homer. Whenever that was.
Cueto beat the Astros back in April but we haven’t seen him since. None of the current Astros have done much against him.
Houston – Matt Dominguez (wrist), Marwin Gonzalez (ankle), Fernando Martinez (thigh), and Scott Moore (groin) are all questionable for this series. Lowrie and Cordero are out until later in the month.
Cincinnati – Shortstop Zack Cozart is questionable for this series. Relievers Nick Masset and Bill Bray are probably out. And Ryan Madson is out for the season.
Discuss today’s game in the Gamezone. You know, if you aren’t watching football.