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A ballpark is not a ballhome. Reds lose.

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A room is a still a room Even when there's nothin' there but gloom

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

I'm going to be honest with all of you. Not because I think you've earned it, but because whatever this malt liquor I bought at the Eastern West Oakley Pony Keg seems to have the properties of a truth serum. See if I ever purchase Guava Upsetdog 20/10 again. I'm perfectly happy living in rampant self-delusion.

Firstly, I'll admit that I lost the Post-It Note that Wick had given me that described the sections you're supposed to use for this.

Secondly, I'll admit that I've been down and out before. I've felt the bitter sting of failure and humiliation. This may be hard to believe coming from someone who's flying high on top of the world of baseball punditry, but there you have it. In that way, I am very much like the sad, crusted-over Reds you saw hurtling toward another inevitability tonight in St. Louis.

More than that, I have been to the dark place where JJ Hoover has been. Damned if these psychotropic effects aren't wearing off and I'm powerless to say that I am there now, except for I have no legitimate claims to personal property and am not working in the highest level of an extremely competitive and desirable field. I find myself in an seemingly infinite loop of checks that almost don't bounce and going to bed at 4 in the morning wondering how I lost another day.

In most cases, athletes probably don't deserve your pity for reasons of fat paychecks and privilege of playing baseball games for a living. But if you're quick to scorn a player like Hoover - a middle reliever inexplicably shoved into James Bond villain-style hanging-over-an-acid-vat situations on a bi-weekly basis - then you're really scorning yourself and forgetting every moment you've banged your head against the wall in an effort to get over. I urge you to take a swig of this malt liquor.

You're scorning your heritage in a land built by dogged company men doing thankless jobs and answering clarion calls.

You're also scorning me. And who knows what I'm capable of. Hoover has earned my admiration simply by not taking off all of his clothes and crying in a heap next to Steve Smith (who would probably wave him home). That's no small task, because I hate admiring things.

Joe Nuxhall of the Game

The Joe Nuxhall of the Game is Joe Nuxhall. Like he will be every game, from here to eternity. If that name doesn't put a smile back on your face, then you're probably like me and have had a court order preventing you from smiling because it's considered non-physical assault toward humans and animals.

Plays in the game (edited for content)

  • Matt Adams pooped in his pants during the first through fifth innings.
  • JJ Hoover pitched three perfect innings of relief. Congratulations flooded in on his webpage, including from some Uruguayan supermodels, if he would like that.
  • Kris Negron passed up Brayan Peña on his grand slam trot, but it didn't matter because the Reds were already leading by so much at that point in the game that really happened here tonight.

Notes from Underground

  • The Reds are now legally obligated to forfeit games they are not leading by at least two in the 7th inning and in the State of Missouri.
  • His master's voice.