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Gear up to watch two of the five worst clubs in baseball play for 7 hours today with no Joey Votto!

A preview of today’s action.

Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Reds melted faces last night with a blown save and an extra-inning dismantling at the hands of the New York Mets. It was both obvious and inevitable, as Hunter Strickland was on the mound as the team’s ‘closer’ thanks to the decimation the bullpen has faced so far this season after a winter of neglect and underinvestment.

Joey Votto didn’t play because his back is hurt. Tyler Stephenson didn’t play because he’s not yet back from a busted thumb. Jonathan India exited early after being hit by a pitch, just a day after Kyle Farmer finally returned from a multi-game absence for the same reason. Tyler Mahle, originally scheduled to pitch today, is now on the shelf with a shoulder strain.

The Reds, owners of the worst record in the National League Central and in the running for the 1st overall pick in next summer’s draft, are a walking, talking disaster at the moment. And thanks to the natural dance of things, they’ll get to welcome a fellow walking, talking disaster to Great American Ball Park today for two full games of sloppy, unimportant action.

That’s right, it’s time to host the Pittsburgh Pirates!

The day’s action will begin at 2:10 PM ET, and it’ll be Mike Minor and his 6.82 ERA on the mound for Cincinnati opposite Roansy Contreras of the Pirates. They’ll then run it back at 7:10 PM ET with some other member of what’s left of the pitching staff starting, seeing as Mahle will miss his turn in the rotation, while Bryse Wilson will toe the rubber for Pittsburgh. Votto is still out, too, which makes this entire conflagration that much more unwatchable.

Speaking of which, I can only chuckle at the thought of how many fans will be in the stands for this exhibition today. Boy oh boy, what a Thursday we have in store!