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Game 162: Reds @ Mets [Final game of the 2011 season]

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Cincinnati Reds
@ New York Mets

Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011, 1:10 PM EDT
Citi Field

Edinson Volquez vs Miguel Batista

50% chance of rain. Winds blowing in from center field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 70.

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With tropical storms in the North Atlantic and rain in the forecast, this game has an uncertain future.

That's all you get. A meagre 162 games and 6 months of baseball. About half the time, they ended in defeat, though the Reds shamefacedly kept the losing record on the road, out of sight. The owners handed millions out like candy last offseason, and look what it bought them: a pitcher who stubbornly never misses a start, a guy who casually strolls to first base, another pitcher who couldn't even muster the innings for an ERA title and this one hump who - in a sophomore slump, I suppose - failed miserably at hitting another title-clinching HR.

Irony aside, the season has been a disappointment. Most of the pitching staff and the left side of the defensive alignment failed to measure up to (possibly) inflated expectations. Still, it has been far from miserable. Frustration runs hot, but it implies that real and substantial effort is being thwarted and "frustrated." Misery, on the other hand, is the dull ache of perpetual failure. In any case, I'm sure all involved could use a break.

Today's game takes place on the one-year anniversary of The Clinch (irony: not aside apparently). And it's fitting - or at least symmetrical - that Edinson Volquez book-ends the season, having made started Opening Day back on March 31. Not to navel-gaze, but here's what Charlie Scrabbles had to say then: "This Opening Day feels different from those of recent past. For years, the offseason felt impossibly long. When the previous season is effectively over by August, the winter months are that much colder. Opening Day has meant a new beginning, a fresh start, the chance to finally rinse the stale, festering taste of defeat from our mouths."

As Scrabbles suggests, when Bronson Arroyo sees the shadow of Jose Lima, it means winter is coming early. I know we would all prefer to have watched meaningful baseball over the last two months - and there's an added knife-twisting "what if" knowing that the Braves let the Cardinals back into the Wild Card race. But there's some solace in the warming glow and continued community of the hot stove, which might be best summed-up by Bill Murray, in a Groundhog Day soliloquy that should resonate in the hearts Devin Mesoraco and Devin Mesoraco supporters alike:

When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Edinson Volquez 5-6 20 19 0 0 0 0 101.2 100 69 66 18 64 99 5.84 1.61


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Miguel Batista 1-0 8 3 0 0 0 0 21.2 20 9 9 0 12 10 3.74 1.48

REDS

Drew Stubbs CF
Edgar Renteria (R) SS
Joey Votto (L) 1B
Jay Bruce (L) RF
Chris Heisey (R) LF
Juan Francisco (L) 3B
Devin Mesoraco (R) C
Paul Janish (R) 2B
Edinson Volquez (R) SP

METS

Jose Reyes (S) SS
Ruben Tejada (R) 2B
Willie Harris (L) LF
David Wright (R) 3B
Nick Evans (R) 1B
Mike Baxter (L) RF
Ronny Paulino (R) C
Jason Pridie (L) CF
Miguel Batista (R) SP