Well, it happened. There's no way around it. On Thursday night Jake Arietta threw a no-hitter, and the Cubs beat the Reds 16-0. It's hard to imagine there being a lower point in the season.
We've seen some painful things as Reds fans in recent years. I mean some painful things. However, right now it's hard to imagine feeling worse about a performance on the field. So where do we go from here?
They (Google/WedMD) say that when something terrible happens you go through five stages of grief. I'm not sure where you're at in this process this morning, but you likely felt some strong emotions over night. Collectively lets rip the band-aid off together and get through this. If we're going to be mentally ready for tonight's game we need to talk it out.
1. Shock & Disbelief
What just happened? We had just taken two of three from the Rockies and gotten above .500. This kind of loss couldn't have happened at home. We had a 5-1 record at Great American Ballpark this season! Brandon Finnegan's been really good this season. There's no way he could have gotten knocked out of the game after four innings of work. He no-hit the Cubs for seven innings last week!
You know what I bet this game didn't even really happen. It was all a bad dream. I'm going to wake up soon, and realize that it's not even Thursday night yet. Yeah, I'll wake up just in time for the first pitch of game one, and Cincinnati will look to improve to 6-1 at home. Everything's going to be fine.
Tonight was my fault. I could have stopped it from happening. I usually sit in my recliner to listen to the game, but tonight I was on the love seat. Where's my lucky Votto shirsey? I could have gotten him out of his slump! You know, I should have gone to the game. There's no way I'll ever see a no hitter in person. It's my fault for not driving to the ballpark tonight. Wait, you mean on June 7, 2004 the Reds were the first team to draft Jake Arrieta? Why didn't we just give him more money? Why didn't we do more to sign him? He could have been throwing a no-hitter for us tonight!
If the Reds can just win this series I promise I'll be a better fan. I'll come to more games. I'll buy some merchandise from the Reds team store. I'll name my next kid Joseph Daniel Votto Roseberry. Just don't lose to the Cubs again. Don't lose to this team one more time. I'll do whatever it takes.
No, it happened. We got no-hit, we got beat 16-0, and this might be the worst Reds team I've ever watched. How could some idiot have written that this was the best season to be a Reds fan? This is terrible. Our bullpen has the second worst ERA in baseball. Our bullpen is ranked last by fWAR. Our bullpen has the second highest BB/9 in baseball. Joey Votto is hitting .172. Eugenio Suarez has made five errors. All of the starters are hurt. Jay Bruce is going to get traded. If we win again it will be a miracle. There are three teams in the NL Central clearly better than us. To make things worse the Cubs looked poised for a long run of dominance. Maybe I don't even like baseball anymore.
The Cubs haven't won anything, and I'm already sick of them. First, there were all the annoying things they did during spring training. They had a hippie themed day. They brought bear cubs to the ballpark. They had a mime lead them through warmups. It's too much. Second, their fans are walking around like they run baseball and they haven't won a World Series since 1908! Theodore Roosevelt was the president the last time Chicago won a World Series. America only had 46 states the last time the Cubs won a World Series. "Go Cubs Go" is the worst. It's just the worst. Their players are busy modeling for Express. What are they so confident about? The Reds have won five World Series since then.
You know what, I'm so tired of the Cubs already that every time they play the Cardinals this season I'm going to root for St. Louis. Nineteen times this season I'll become one of the "best fans in baseball," and we'll do what we have to do to stop this team from winning a World Series. Nineteen times this season I'll root for Yadier Molina, extol the Cardinal Way, and I'll crack open a Budweiser to celebrate. The Cubs can't succeed this season! They just can't!
A little part of me just died writing that last paragraph.
5. Acceptance & Hope
Yes, last night was bad.
There's another game tonight.
The Reds aren't as bad as they looked yesterday.
There's a plan in place, and we are slowly getting better.
We might have hit rock bottom, but there's nowhere to go but up.
It's always darkest before the dawn.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
At worst I spent a few hours watching baseball last night, and that's a pretty good way to live my life.