Gonna be a packed house tonight in Cincinnati as the pitching phenom brings his circus act to town. I know some people are annoyed at Reds fans being excited about this game, but honestly, whatever draws fans to the park. I think Cincinnati is starting to believe in the team, but the stadium isn't going to be consistently packed just because the Reds are winning. It's going to take a year of winning, and then some, before going to a game becomes a regular Wednesday night activity for some people. So, when the most marketable player under the age of 25 comes to town, don't begrudge fans for coming out. Celebrate the fact that the park will be loud on a Wednesday, and hope that it continues to build some energy for the franchise.
Personally, I'm excited to see how the Reds perform against Strasburg. The Reds have done pretty well against power pitchers this year (.257/.340/.462), but they are not so good against elite pitchers. I have a feeling this will be another night where they come out aggressive. For a hard thrower, Strasburg has very good control, and teams have had more success against him early in the count. So far, teams are hitting .310/.310/.524 in 43 PA that end within 2 pitches, but just .172/.248/.201 in the other 150 PA. Then again, I haven't taken into account the fact that 23% of his strikes are of the swing-and-miss variety, the highest of any starting pitcher with 8 or more starts this year. If the Reds aren't able to put bat on ball, it could be an ugly, but quick game.
Then again, Bronson Arroyo seems to like quick games. He also seems to thrive on the big moment, and going up against a hype phenom on ESPN is a big moment. Arroyo has a sub-3.00 ERA since the start of June, which followed a disastrous start against the Cardinals on May 31 where Bronson gave up 7 runs and didn't make it out of the 5th inning. Since then, he's had 6 quality starts and the Reds are 6-2 in his 8 starts. I don't know how he does it, but he gets the job done.
I feel a win coming tonight. The Reds are 7-2 when I'm in attendance, and I expect that record to improve tonight (and tomorrow, when I go see the Wagon pitch!). Go Reds!