And so we’ve made it. Game 162. It was a long, bumbling, fumbling trip from April to now but it happened just the same. Hopefully the Reds can finish up strong tonight by picking up a loss and maybe taking the #2 draft pick.
Reds really need to lose tomorrow. Could be difference in picking #2 or #7. Reds hold tiebreaker on all teams (worst record previous year). pic.twitter.com/XJkI8sQsSy
— ɴɪᴄᴋ ᴋɪʀʙy (@Nicholaspkirby) October 2, 2016
Who ever said the end of the season wasn’t going to be exciting for the Reds?
By the numbers, today’s pitching matchup looks like a bit of a mismatch. Kyle Hendricks has been quietly very, very good for the Cubs, while Robert Stephenson has been all over the place in his limited starts for the Reds.
Hendricks is 5-1 in his last six outings, giving up just six runs in 39.0 innings and striking out 39 as well. Very much a ground ball pitcher, Hendricks well by managing contact and keeping hitters from getting the ball up in the air, which is just all the more dangerous at the windy Wrigely field.
Stephenson, however, has struggled mightily in his five September starts. The young pitcher has given up 19 runs in 21.0 innings, including seven home runs and 10 walks in that time span. Hopefully Stephenson can figure it out over the off-season, but for the time being, the whole Major League pitcher bit isn’t coming together for him.
|1. Dexter Fowler (CF)
2. Kris Bryant (3B)
3. Anthony Rizzo (1B)
4. Ben Zobrist (2B)
5. Addison Russell (SS)
6. Jason Heyward (RF)
7. Jorge Soler (LF)
8. Willson Contreras (C)
9. Kyle Hendricks (P)
|1. Jose Peraza (SS)
2. Ivan De Jesus (2B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Scott Schebler (CF)
6. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Tony Renda (RF)
9. Robert Stephenson (P)
Fun Tidbits from Twitter
— Red Reporter (@redreporter) October 2, 2016
Joey Votto can go 0-for-7 today and still hit .400 for the second half. #reds
— John Fay (@johnfayman) October 2, 2016
There’s always a moment when the air crispens to that fall temperature and the leaves start to fall that I’m reminded of baseball’s impending end. This year it happened at the start of the Cardinals series earlier this week.
To play 162 games and end up in the bottom third of the league is discouraging. It hits the point where I as a fan must prioritize other things (homework, grocery shopping, Netflix) over Reds baseball, which isn’t how the dynamic of fandom is supposed to work. Yes, I have my own life, but Reds baseball is supposed to be at the middle of it and for the past couple years it hasn’t.
Is that a reflection on me? Probably. Am I going to say it’s a reflection on the poor, poor state of the team instead? Absolutely. The Reds are rebuilding or rebooting or re-whatever-other-buzzword-is-readily-available and it might end up working but right now it doesn’t feel that way. There’s no excitement, no sense of urgency.
And so, as we stand here at game 162, we as fans and the Reds as a team should consider for a moment what we want out of this relationship. Do we want to be frustrated all the time? Do we want this rotating cast of characters that often seems devoid of personality? Or do we want to take pride in this team, win or lose, and when the fall air starts to crispen, instead of any old jacket, we as Reds fans put on a Reds hoodie because that’s all we know how to wear anymore.
That last little section is kind of weird, I’m not sure why I wrote that. Regardless, this is the end and it’s been another fun ride with all of you, part of Redleg Nation. I know the game thread crew has enjoyed making this little posts our own over the course of the season, and I at least look forward to doing it again come April. Thanks Nation, never change.