For the first time in 253 days, the Reds are not at least tied for 1st place in the NL Central. After a disappointing start to the Series That Will Decide The Division they will attempt to rectify that problem this afternoon. Travis Wood takes the hill against Reds killer extraordinaire and all around bad human being Chris Carpenter. The best preview you ever did see is after the jump.
Travis Wood has had an up and down start to 2011 with two good starts and two bad starts. He's helped beat the Brewers and Padres with good outings but got blown up last week against the Pirates and had trouble finding the plate against the Diamondbacks in that 13-2 beatdown. The good news? If he keeps to his good-bad-good-bad schedule we're due to see about 7 innings of one run ball out of him today. Another reason to smile is that in his one career start against the Cardinals he went 7 strong innings, giving up only an unearned run in the first inning. I have a special prize for the first person to tell me what the error was that caused the run to be unearned.
Now it wouldn't be a game preview unless we talked about the opposing pitcher. Chris Carpenter has absolutely owned the Reds recently, approaching Roy Oswalt status. The difference? I didn't particularly hate Roy Oswalt. I hated that he beat the Reds' brains in for so long but I never disliked him as a player or as a person (as much as you can hate someone you've never met). Chris Carpenter on the other hand is a loudmouth jerk and a whining asshole. The fact that he went 5-0 against the Reds last year and is 12-3 lifetime against our beloved club just rubs salt in the wound.
The last time Chris Carpenter was the losing pitcher in a game against the Cincinnati Reds was June 6th, 2006. Felipe Lopez homered in the first inning and Rick White pitched the ninth inning for the Reds after a great start by Eric Milton. THAT'S how long it's been since he took a loss against the Reds. Saying he's overdue for an ass-kicking would be an understatement.
Here's hoping the Reds cross Carpenter up and nail his ass today.