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Reds at Cardinals Game One: Preview and Lineups and Such

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

After losing a pair of extra-inning heartbreakers to the Brewers, the Reds packed their Game Boys and took off for St Louis. The Cardinals are currently just a half-game better than the Brewers, so this is some tangentially important baseball the Reds are playing right now. So that’s kinda fun.

Less fun is Homer Bailey starting yet again. Among starters who have tossed more than 80 innings this season, he is the worst in the NL in ERA (6.17), FIP (5.62), and HR/9 (1.96). He is far and away the most loathed current Cincinnati Red, but not by your humble author. He has worked through so many devastating injuries that it is a minor miracle he is even still capable of putting on his own jersey. I think his determination to come back from all of it is a testament to the content of his character. But at this point, it is clear that he is not the same man who tossed a pair of no-hitters and signed a $100 million contract. He used to have It, but now he doesn’t. And it makes me really, really sad for him.

Now, it is on the Reds for continuing to employ him. He is still starting every fifth day and still getting his brains beat out of him every fifth day and that means young fellas who still have the potential to contribute to the Next Good Reds Team are not starting every fifth day. You may not be terrifically excited to see Sal Romano and Robert Stephenson and Lucas Sims and so on struggle to make their way in the majors, but it is a necessary element of any rebuild.

Look, I love Homer Bailey. I love him for being a stalwart on the Last Good Reds Team and those no-hitters and the single greatest pitching performance I have seen in person (Game 3 in 2012). But I love him especially because he couldn’t give a good god damn what any of us think about him.

But I think it is time for his time with the Reds to take a time out.

He is facing some no-name junk-heap pitcher who somehow is way better than any of the talented pitching prospects the Reds have churned through the last few years. Because the universe is a cold and dark place and the stars are indifferent to our wailings.