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It’s the last Reds game of the season.

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This is a preview.

Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

We’ve reached game 162.

It’s a strange feeling. With all honesty, I’ve been checked out of the Reds season since the end of August. I had some professional obligations around that time that caused me to miss every game for a week and I... just didn’t really come back all that often.

Which is a shitty thing to admit for someone that pretends like an expert on the internet (I have never been an expert, and I hope I’ve never actually presented myself that way). That said, doing this “work” probably still makes me in the top one or two percent of Reds fans when it comes to dedication. It took me until the last week of August to check out.

It’s very likely that it took a lot of you a lot less time.

It’s been a strange season. The Reds were never really In It, in the sense that they were never in control of their own destiny. From the 1-8 start of the season, they were always going to need a lot of help with a roster that was ultimately very flawed. Still, for the first time in a long time, the Reds were nominally in the conversation.

It’s not enough, but it’s not nothing.

They spent most of the season pissing away opportunities to actually “do something,” before playing just well enough to pull us back in. I think the first time that I put my voice to “They’re toast” was in mid-May, before a home series with the Cubs. Then they went out and beat them.

It was rinse/repeat for a few months after that. Remember, this team was was only three and a half games back on July 4th, and three back of .500. They were a stretch of good baseball away from being a stretch away. Several times. All year.

They’ll lose less than 90 games for the first time in five season. That’s the “At Least You Tried” Bart Simpson gif of baseball statements, but still. Maybe it’s a step in the right direction of a rebuild that’s seemingly never ending. It didn’t work, but they made steps to win baseball games this year. It’s the bare minimum that fans of a professional sports team can ask for, but let’s not act like it’s common place for bad teams around not just this league, but all of them.

I don’t yet have thoughts about whether this team is closer to the 2009 vintage or the 2014 version (one aged like fine wine, the other, well...). We’ll have plenty of that around in the coming days, weeks, and months. Of course you’ll find all of that reaction right here at Red Reporter dot com. We’ll be doing Our Thing all offseason long, just like you’re accustomed to.

We’ll be watching the postseason right along with the rest of you. Without the Reds in it.

Again.

So, yeah. It’s a strange feeling. I’m going to miss Reds baseball, even if I don’t really feel like missing Reds baseball right now. I’ll probably miss it by next week.

With that in mind, here’s one more Reds baseball game. This is a preview, I guess. Go ahead and use it as a game thread as well. If there are memories you’re willing to stomach, ones that may stick with you a decade from now, share them with us below. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the images of Yasiel Puig, the Red, fighting the entire City of Pittsburgh... even if Amir Garrett did it again and better several months later.

Thanks for joining us, Red Reporters.

Reds final lineup

Pirates final lineup