Last night, in the greatest baseball troll since John Rocker pitched against the New York Mets (just without the racisty-homophobic stuff) Mat Latos entered the game to help deliver game one of the National League Divisional Series against the San Francisco Giants. Tonight's game two looks to be a much more brah-tastic affair with Bronson Arroyo scheduled to take the mound. While Arroyo may not have the greatest postseason (career ERA of 6.47) or AT&T Park (ERA of 4.11 and no wins) statistics, he has been the anchor of the rotation since his acquisition from Boston in 2006. He is, essentially, the tenured professor of the Reds staff. He's doesn't have the greatest stuff. He doesn't have to impress you. He just has to show up and do his job.
In all honesty, most of the concerns of Arroyo stem from the disastrous 2011 season in which he pitched through Mononucleosis and God knows what other comunicable and zoonosis diseases. These concerns become compounded and complicated when one looks at the Reds' most recent offensive effort against Giants' starter Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner led the Giants to a one-hit shutout of the Reds in June. Also, he's been kind of a stud in the playoffs and was instrumental in San Francisco's World Series win in 2010. Clearly, the debutante season in the Bay Area runs well into October for Master Madison K. Bumgarner of the Carolina Bumgarners.
The offenses of the respective teams will likely engage in a race to the bottom based on recent output. Both teams' bats have demonstrated prolonged bouts of anemia throughout the month of September. However, the five run output on Saturday by Cincinnati casts a new hope (STAR WARS REFERENCE: DRINK) upon this series. Sure, the Reds often look perplexed when facing lefty pitchers, but that does not mean they will be completely unable to generate runs (Editor's note: yes, they will).
Perhaps I was a bit too negative in generating this game thread. We won our first playoff game in seventeen years last night. Basically, our playoff wins drought lasted the length of Chipper Jones' career. We were able to win last night by piecing together nine innings of pitching using 3/5 of our rotation in the game. We may very well be able to get our ace back as early as Tuesday. However, the proper approach to this game and the remainder of the series is cautious optimism (if only because it's a fun term to use). There's no reason to get too emotionally invested, yet. There's a whole other series before we have to deal with the St. Louis Cardinals and any lingering
daddy issues I we may have.
It's a late game and will likely last until the wee hours of the morning on Monday. That's no excuse not to enjoy this. Monday is a holiday and the workforce in Cincinnati will be equally unproductive if they know what's best for them. Alright kids, IMMA HANGUP AND LISTEN and enjoy this game. Go Reds, they're my favorite team!
Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
Zack Cozart (R) SS
Joey Votto (L) 1B
Ryan Ludwick (R) LF
Jay Bruce (L) RF
Scott Rolen (R) 3B
Ryan Hanigan (R) C
Drew Stubbs (R) CF
Bronson Arroyo (R) P