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Game 88 Preview & Thread: Reds vs. Cardinals (8:00). Bailey vs. Westbrook.

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St. Louis Cardinals
@ Cincinnati Reds

Sunday, Jul 15, 2012, 8:00 PM EDT
Great American Ball Park

Jake Westbrook vs Homer Bailey

Partly cloudy,rain. Winds blowing out to left field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 85.

Complete Coverage >


Walk off home runs. Closers striking out the side in the 9th inning with 100+ MPH fastballs. Free pizza and ice cream. The Reds won the first two games against the St. Louis Cardinals in this series in fairly dramatic fashion. Tonight, they seek to add Sunday Night Baseball victors and "sweepers" to their resume in this Mid-July series.

Much has been written about the Reds' inability to perform on big stages over the past few years. From Roy Halladay to their poor record on national television in the regular season, the Reds give off an air of "not quite ready for primetime." That's okay, though, because most television shows go on hiatus during the summer. Regardless, now that it looks like the Reds are finally exorcising their Cardinal demons, it would be nice to see them get rid of some other stigmas to boot.

It appears that the Reds will attempt to go for the sweep tonight without their staff ace, Johnny Cuteo. The news broke yesterday that Cueto will likely miss a start as he recovers from a blister on his throwing hand. In response, Homer Bailey said that he would answer the call and start tonight's game. In doing so, Bailey is likely looking for some regression to the mean for the Cardinals who are hitting .330 off of him. Once again, we're looking forward to a number of precedents being broken this evening at Great American Ballpark.

If you're planning on staying home tonight and not being productive tomorrow morning, I strongly recommend the following ESPN Sunday Night Baseball at GABP Drinking Game.

Take a Sip If:

1. You see footage of concession workers assembling Skyline Cheese Coneys

2. ESPN shows clips of "The Fight," "The Kick," and any other evidence that the Cardinals and Reds dislike each other.

3. The announcers re-litigate whether Brandon Phillips and Cueto were snubbed from the All Star Game

4. You hear the phrase "Great American Smallpark."

5. You hear the word "bandbox."

6. The announcers reference GABP's homer streak.

7. They breakdown Joey Votto's contract.

8. ESPN proliferates a falsehood concerning Joey Votto and foul balls or infield fly balls.

* * *

Take two gulps if:

1. The announcers question Dusty's first sacrifice bunt of the night.

2. ESPN shows the Chapman somersaults.

3. Someone references a trade rumor involving the Reds and someone other than Juan Pierre.

4. Yadier Molina's neck tattoo is correctly translated as "Beef Lo Mein."

5. Another fight breaks out.

* * *

Finish your drink and then chug ten more if:

1. THE REDS SWEEP THE CARDINALS. THEY'RE MY FAVORITE TEAM.