Astros 5, Reds 1
W: Gonzalez (2-0)
L: Cueto (17-8)
I like kicking the Reds in the teeth.
Sure, they can’t feel it, they’re on their way to the division championship, but this season you take what you can get. In this case, it’s the first road series win since June and today’s came against a Cy Young contender who probably won’t win that award now.
This one marks the end of another rivalry, another NL team the Astros won’t play again as a league foe. I’ll miss the NL, but I’m not going to miss the Reds. When I was a kid I didn’t care about them at all – they were a team with no players I gave a damn about.
I remember reading the back of Frank Robinson’s 1967 card, with the little cartoon about his MVP season, and wondering why the Reds traded him but being happy that he’d had such a great season after leaving such a dimwitted franchise. None of these guys could get me interested. Jim Maloney? Leo Cardenas? Tommy Helms? Lee May? Gary Nolan? I couldn’t care less.
I liked Vada Pinson, but it’s not like I was some big fan, he just seemed to be a good player and had a good card. Tony Perez? Eh. I couldn’t stand Johnny Bench, what with everybody talking about how great he was. Big fucking deal, I liked Bill Freehan, dammit.
And I fucking hated Pete Rose. Hated.
I don’t remember ever seeing the Reds play in the Dome, but I remember going to see them play the Phillies just so I could boo the hell out of Pete Rose. Fuck him, along with that shitty excuse for chili.
1981, baby. Now, that was a year. Best record in the entire league, by three whole games, but you know what? That earned the Reds a seat at home in front of the TV, watching the Astros battle Fernandomania in five games. Suck it, Reds.
Cueto came into this one throwing right at the Astros, challenging them to hit his stuff while bringing it right over the plate. Well, three singles and a sac fly to the first four batters gave Houston the lead. Cueto continued throwing over the plate even though everyone knows the Astros will chase like Pepe LePew after a striped cat. Cueto didn’t care, he was so impressed with his unhittable stuff that he got chased after giving up a three-run burrito to Matt Dominguez, who is showing a power stroke Billy Squier would envy.
Meanwhile, the enigma of Edgar Gonzalez continued stoking the smoulder that is threatening to become Edgarmania. Five innings, only two hits, one walk and one run given up while fanning six, Gonzalez was in smoke-and-mirrors control the whole way, throwing that Mexican League menudo past the division leaders’ bats.
Pulled after five because of a blister on his toe (“I’m Mexican. I can try,” he pled), Wright, Storey and Lopez threw the last four while allowing three hits and striking out eight. Greene added a solo shot in the sixth and despite the pervasive Fear every time the Houston bullpen is involved, this one was all over.
Like I said, miss the league, won’t miss the Reds.