In order to get ready for today's start, Bronson Arroyo is dealing with his recent health issues the same way he deals with all health issues - he's consulting the brochure his doctor gave him. Did you know that you can lessen the risk of spreading Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to your partner by using proper posture and avoiding repetitive activities?
I wouldn't say that I'm in panic mode yet, but I haven't seen a lot from the team over the first two games that makes me excited about today. Outside of Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips, the offense has been fairly dormant - even with scoring 7 runs last night. Pretty much the only thing this team has done well on offense is walk, which frankly blows my mind. Heck, I only even remember one or two outs that were hit hard. It definitely didn't feel like the Reds were hitting all that well at the park last night.
The good news today is that Willy Taveras is finally in the lineup, so no Darnell McDonald...in center field. McDonald - our only other right-handed outfielder now that Hairston has had his virtually inevitable first injury of the season - will be starting the game in left field versus the left-handed Oliver Perez. This isn't a plea for Jonny Gomes to be brought up. This is a plea for the Reds to get somebody who is actually a serious threat from the right side to play the outfield. I don't care who it is. But, uh, Jonny Gomes is waiting in the minors.
All of this bitching about the offense doesn't matter though because really the most important thing today is Bronson Arroyo. I know there is some sentiment out there that the Reds should dump Arroyo and bring up Homer Bailey, but that can't possibly be the best scenario for the Reds. What the Reds really need is a healthy Bronson Arroyo, because I'd much rather have 6 Major League ready pitchers than 5. So if I had a vote, I'd vote for Arroyo to be healthy and stop sucking out on the mound.
And I'm pretty sure Dusty Baker would agree with me, as well as all of the guys out in the bullpen. Already the bullpen has thrown 139 pitches and 8.1 innings in 2 games. These old guys can't handle all of that work. I think they'd really appreciate it if Arroyo can throw 7 innings. Also, they'd love it if he can do it quickly too so that they can get out of the park in time for the Early Bird Special at Dennys.
The Reds face an old nemesis today in Oliver Perez, who is 9-4 in his career against Cincinnati with a 4.02 ERA. Admittedly, a lot of the damage that Perez did against the Reds came in 2004, but those scars don't fade quickly. Plus, Perez pitched fairly well against the Reds in 2 starts in 2008, going 6 innings in each, winning one and losing one. I wish I could say that the Reds will be better off now that Griffey and Dunn aren't in the lineup, but Dunn was really the only Red that had any success off of Perez. The combined batting line of current Reds who have faced Perez is .141/.238/.169, so yeah, it could be another long day at the plate.
I desperately want to see a win today. An 0-3 start would again feel way too much like that terrible 2003 season all over again. Then again, that was also the year that Bob Boone was fired...