Ladies and Gentlemen, meet our Achilles heel
Look at the Cincinnati Reds. They're a power-hitting team, with a good chunk of speed mixed in at the top of the order, a barely-passable starting rotation with one major personality, and an awful relieving corps.
With exception to the bullpen, do they sound familiar to anyone?
The Reds are shaping up to be that team for us again this season. Having put up superb numbers against the Cardinals last year [10-6] and so far this year, Cincinnati might be that place where postseason hopes go to die.
With all due respect to the Reds, we should finish above them this season, hopefully with a wide enough gap to consider us in the hunt for the playoffs. However, every team has their specter, their ghost in the closet, their unmentionable, unshakeable white elephant in the room that they cannot shake.
Last year, the Cubs put up a 6-9 mark against the Reds, and this season we're 1-2.
Today was ugly. Apparently MLB.com decided to automatically renew [aka BILL ME IN SECRET] my membership to their audio game package, although they neglected to send me an email that would not only tell me, but would give me cause to use their service again. They would prefer to take my money without me knowing, but they fucked that one up didn't they?
So, I decided to pop a painkiller or two and let the gentle spring sounds of Hughes and Santo lull me into a pleasant slumber. It would have been perfect, except for their periodic screaming at constant home runs by the Reds' lineup. Bronson Arroyo had never homered until meeting the Cubs last week, and he decided to repeat the gesture this afternoon, along with two blasts from Adam Dunn, a Griffey Jr. moonshot, one for Austin "Jim Hendry dreams about acquiring me" Kearns, not to mention an Edwin Encarnacion [watch this fucker carefully] grand slam.
Glendon "Cuddle Bear" Rusch let the Reds touch him up in consecutive starts, proving there is romance in even the most masculine of sports. Meanwhile, Arroyo sauntered through a placid lineup, with a delightful line [7 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 4 K], and even another Michael Barrett home run couldn't save us.
Barrett is on fire so far this year [.391, 3 HR, 10 RBI], but Ramirez is batting like he's stuck in quicksand [.174], and guys like Will Ohman keep screwing the pooch so much that I'm considering pressing charges [0 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, BB, 5 batters faced].
Pick up yer shit for tomorrow and let's hope for a win. If we keep playing like this, I shudder to think what I might do.