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Sic Transit Gloria: A Lucky Seven Reasons for Cautious Optimism in Game Two

Max Fischer: Dr. Guggenheim, I dont want to tell you how to do your job. But the fact is, no matter how hard I try, I still might flunk another class. If that means I have to stay on for a post-graduate year, so be it...
Dr. Nelson Guggenheim: We dont offer a post-graduate year.
Max Fischer: Well, we don't offer it yet.
(Rushmore, 1998)

Time to turn off the "Halladay + Phillies + History + Wednesday + Hits = 0" internet filter, let some light into the room and take this 40 year old wedding dress. You day-drinking, blackout drunks, you played this one just right for Game One. I've got the memory of too many weak dribblers seared into my brain-pan.

But there's no crying in baseball. And more to the point, there's no aggregate scoring. Wednesday's 4-0, no-hit, cultural-historical humiliation gets marked down as just one loss. Not three, not two, possibly four.  Although, if I'm not mistaken, the Reds have to give back all the money they were paid for that game. That's right, isn't it?

  1. As our friend and overlord Slyde points out in the Red Reporter Twitter feed: Current Reds have hit .290/.329/.484 against Oswalt, collectively. Don't be taken in by anyone citing Oswalt's career-long dominance of the Reds - just place it in the "More Things to Forget Forever" file and make sure to keep that file stored in the fireplace.
  2. A habit of bouncing back. Despite gut-punch series in Atlanta, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Francisco and Colorado, the Reds kept churning. These case studies, taken with the nurturing presence of Dusty, bring us to the unimpeachable conclusion that the Reds can, will, should, must and mayest win.
  3. The Reds have been held scoreless for 30 consecutive innings at Citizens Bank Park. This seems bad. But it's completely unsustainable. Can you imagine 39 consecutive scoreless inning? I can't - and I can tell you that math is with me on this one.
  4. Aroldis Chapman. Fat Vegas Allan recommends we consider FanGraph's recommendation that the Cubandolero be recommended to be on the mound the second time Utley comes to the plate. I don't expect Dusty to have an eleven batter hook unless Arroyo really bombs, but Game One showed Dusty's willingness to go the 'pen. Chapman is well-rested and buffered by tomorrow's off-day. There's little chance we don't see him tonight, possibly for 4-5 outs.
  5. The rest of the bullpen. They put up an almost spotless performance on Wednesday night - one hit in 7.2 innings. Masset, Rhodes and Cordero are all fresh, while Bill Bray is a good match for the Phils (Howard is 0-8 with 4 Ks against him).
  6. Selective historiography. The Reds won Game 7 after Fisk's home run. The Yankees lost after Larsen's perfect game. Examples abound, but suffice to say, being the footnote to a bally-hoo moment is not a death sentence. Especially when the series is 1-0.
  7. Bronson "Saturn Nuts" Arroyo, Stopper. The club started the season 0-2 against the hated Cardinals. Bronson toed the rubber and put up an 8 IP, 1 ER performance. CG victory against the Cardinals in May to regain sole possession of first place. Seven innings of one run ball in July against the Dodgers to snap a 3 game losing streak and regain first place. Pulled down the win against the Rockies to snap a four game losing streak in July. Not to mention 3 appearances during the 2004 Red Sox playoff run, which represents one the highest concentrations of futility-fueled pressure in baseball history.

BONUS CRACKPOT REASON: Chaos theory and thermodynamics. This season has already been pretty wacky. Epic meltdowns coupled with unexpected bounce-backs, brawls, no-hitters, perfect games, perfect games deferred, Reds winning the Central, Jose Bautista. Things tend toward entropy. Wouldn't the chaotic choice be for the Reds to win this series? A Phillies sweep is too rational, too expected and too pre-postmodern.