As JinAZ so eloquently illustrated in his series preview earlier today, these Astros were bad baseball team. Then they traded their two best players. But don't feel bad for them. Pity is the brake pedal of the loser. The Reds are still 6.5 games behind the Brewers even after sweeping the Giants, so now is not the time to let up.
August is shaping up to be a make-or-break month for the Redlegs. The Brewers and Cardinals face each other 12 times in the next 5 weeks, while the Reds only have 6 games in the entire month against teams with winning records (and 3 of those are against the Pirates). If they are going to make a move on this division, they will have play their asses off for it. That sweep at the hands of the Mets was a real back-breaker, but if Batman can recover from a broken back these Reds can do the same.
Unfortunately, Bronson Arroyo. He's given up at least four earned runs in 10 of his last 13 starts. Though to his credit, he's only really had four Badroyo outings all season. Of course, he's only had four or five Goodroyo outings all season. We may have seen the emergence of Mediocreroyo in his advanced age, to the delight of no one.
Bud Norris takes the bump for the Astrolegs this evening, who has done quite well this season to fashion himself into something of a good pitcher. He gets a goodly number of strikeouts and keeps the walks in check. The Reds have yet to see him this season, though they showed 'im whut fer a good bit last year.
I know it's a cliche, but this is really the first game of the rest of the Reds' season. It's going to take truckloads of ass kicking, but I think this team certainly has that in them. A great month coupled with some attrition atop the standings could put the Reds within striking distance. I know it's a long shot, but with the trade deadline passed it's the only storyline we have left to plumb.
Go Reds! Because you pretty much have to at this point.
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