Sunday, September 28, 2014
Great American Ballpark
Johnny Cueto vs. Gerrit Cole
Promise me that you will fight anyone who tells you that this season hasn't been a disappointment. I ask you this not only because people that use the perfect indicative tense in everyday conversation are objectively awful and deserve to be fought, but also because this season is a beautiful disappointment.
The disappointment of reoccurring injuries. The disappointment of seeing a general manager sit idly by while a team with obvious defects sinks to the bottom the standings; cushioned only by the Chicago Cubs. The disappointment of knowing that we are likely wasting the best year of our best pitcher: Johnny Cueto.
This brings us to today's game. Johnny Cueto is going for his 20th win of the season and looks to do so against the playoff-bound Pittsburgh Pirates. If Cueto wins, he will have recorded the win in 26% of the Reds games this season. When 26% of your wins only amount to 20 games, you are likely not going to the playoffs. In fact, you are likely staying home and saying to yourself "maybe this is the year where I try to again become emotionally involved with football." If this literary melodrama appears to be too much to take, just imagine how awful it was to actually live through it.
I'll spare the heavy sarcasm today and avoid saying things like "savor the final moments of the Jack Hannahan Era," and "at least we will have our true leader, Skip Schumaker, healthy and back for 2015." Though, sarcasm was a fantastic coping tool this season when dealing with expectations that have crashed to earth with the force of the Chicxulub Asteroid. The 2015 team will, in fact, have to deal with the abundance of inherited sadness from this year and contracts of Skip Schumaker, Brandon Phillips, and Sean Marshall. Maybe the Reds will pick up a bat. Maybe a starting pitcher or two will be traded. Maybe the bullpen will perform more like the 2014 Washington Nationals instead of 1984 Washington Generals.
The next time we will see Reds baseball, there will be some hope that they can brush off the injuries, underperformance, and declining skill sets of 2014 and compete for a World Series. However, before that time, there will be a long cold winter full of speculation and continued navel gazing from the disappointment of this year. We'll probably also have a number of different promotions from sites like FanDuel. Or J-Date. Or J-Date Duel, which I am personally looking forward to seeing.
As far as predictions go, I believe that Cueto will give the Reds seven solid innings of 0 run baseball. J.J. Hoover will give the Reds 1/3 of an inning of not-so-solid baseball. And the Reds will lose 3 to 0. Why? Because 2014.
Go (to 2015) Reds!
Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $18,000 Fantasy Baseball league for tonight's MLB games. It's $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Jump in now. Here's the FanDuel link.