The Merrimack and the Monitor. The USS Bonhomme Richard and the HMS Serapis. The skirmishes between these ships will seem benign in comparison to the battle this afternoon of the Nasty Hook and the Jolly Roger.
The Reds will don the road grays for the last time during the regular season this afternoon in Pittsburgh for what may very well be Bronson Arroyo's last road start as a Cincinnati Red. Arroyo pitched one game against the Pirates this season, going seven innings in a no-decision and giving up only one run.
Bronson is only 7 2/3 innings away from reaching his annual goal of 200 innings and will surely reach it if not today, then later this week against the Pirates at home. Meanwhile, the Reds pitchers, as a team, are only five strikeouts away from setting a team record for strikeouts for a second straight season.
Unfortunately, the Reds bats also appear to yearn for a similar, though more dubious, honor after striking out at the hands of A.J. Burnett twelve times on Saturday. In righting the ship, the Reds will have to do so without Shin Soo Choo in the starting lineup after his ill-advised slide into first base on Friday night. Billy Hamilton will start in Choo's place and will bat leadoff for the Reds. Meanwhile, Ryan Ludwick gets the day off, meaning Chris Heisey will start in left and Brandon Phillips will move to the cleanup spot.
Despite this unoptimized lineup, the Reds will have to find a way to rebound from their prior struggles against Jeff Locke. Locke will go for his third win against the Reds in 2013 in his fourth start. The Reds have only amassed 9 hits in 18 innings against Locke this season and are OPSing a cool .559 against the young lefty. If the Reds want to play game 163 at home, they most likely will have to find a way to get after Locke this afternoon in Pittsburgh.
So, yeah. There you have it. The 2013 Road Edition of the Reds is about to be retired with a record currently of 40-41. If we're going to play more than half our games on the road, let's at least get to a .500 clip, AMIRITE? GO REDS!
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