For the last time ever, the Houston Astros will host the Cincinnati Reds at Minute Maid Park as N.L. Central counterparts. Hopefully for the last time for the next decade, the Cincinnati Reds will start a game without Joey Votto. The slugging first baseman is expected to avoid the fashion faux pas of wearing
white minor league uniforms after Labor Day by joining the big club on Monday. In the meantime, what result will befall the Reds in their last trip to Houston in 2011? A cursory look at both teams' records suggests a win.
Unfortunately, baseball isn't played based on cursory glances. So, we need to dig a little deeper to determine the chances of our Redlegs. Starting for them today will be Bronson Arroyo. Bronson has been nothing short of Greatroyo over his past 4 starts; winning all of them with a 2.86 ERA. With each start, it's looking more and more that 2011 was simply an aberration for the Reds pitcher.
Bronson's counterpart for Houston will be Bud Norris, who may or may not be the name of someone in an Ed Norton film. Regardless, Norris has been effective against the Reds in 2011 and ace at home where he holds a 3-1 record and an ERA of 2.09. The knock on Norris thus far has been his lack of winning. Norris has not won a game since May 21. Then again, the Astros, as a team, have not won many games since May 21.
While Joey Votto will not be joining the Reds today, there will be several additions to their roster resulting from the first round of September call-ups. Included in that list will be the familiar face of Logan Ondrusek, and new kids on the block Didi Gregorious, Henry Rodriguez, and Denis Phipps. With the exception of Ondrusek, I wouldn't look for them to get much playing time (unfortunately, the veterans). However, we're cool with that because we're going to get more veteran presents on Votto Day!
Go ahead and end our rivalry with the Astros in Minute Maid with a bang! Go get yourself a healthy All World First Baseman. Go Reds, they're my favorite team!