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Game Thoughts: Reds lose to the Padres 4-2

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Aaron Harang

It was a fun ride. I'm going to hold off on eulogizing the season until it's literally over, but  really it has been a fun season. Maddening in many ways, but enjoyable. It's the middle of September, and I honestly had hope until this series. That's a massive improvement over previous years. I don't how well the Reds are positioned going forward (I'm sure there'll be quite a bit of roster churn this offseason) but it's inarguable that this season was a leap forward.

Quick thoughts:

  • I'm guessing Aaron Harang is tired. Not tired enough to completely break down, but tired enough to where he's not the same Aaron Harang we saw the first half of the season. This is going to go down as one hell of a season for the guy, but he's really struggled down the stretch. Hopefully it'll be an educational experience for him moving forward that will help him with future playoff races. I'm not sure why Jerry Narron hasn't put Harang on a shorter leash lately, it seems like he's breaking down in every start when it gets to the 6th or 7th inning, but that would require Narron to make some pretty gutsy calls. It's tough to take your starter out at the first sign of trouble, but at the same time I think it'd be wise this late in the season. Harang's going to top his career high 211.2 innings from last season, so being proactive with his inning limits would have been a smart thing.
  • I hate to say this, because I think it lumps me in with a lot of idiots that criticize Ken Griffey Jr. for stupid reasons but ... I'm pretty annoyed that he's missing time with a toe problem. I understand it's dislocated, but there's really no reason why he couldn't move to a corner or play some first with a hurt toe. Tape it up and go. I have never questioned his injuries until now, because there's never been anything to question, but this seems like something that could have been dealt with after a few days of rest. He's now missed eight straight games while the Reds finished their fall from contention, and it's disappointing.
  • What the hell has gotten into Javier Valentin? No reason for him not to be playing every day right now; ride that hot streak.
  • The Reds only sold 54 odd thousand tickets for the last three games. I don't know how I feel about that, but I'm guessing there'll be some outrage from certain quarters (talk radio, perhaps some columnists) about a lack of fan support, but really I think it just shows that people have already packed it in for the year when it comes to the Reds. You can't really blame them. We're talking about a .500 team that had delusions of grandeur. I think that the average Joe can tell the difference between a true contender and a pretender, and that's what I'm taking away from the attendance figures from the past three days.