5.18.2007

What a fucking month.

Thursday brought the first day of blessed relief in this month of the Reds' schedule after what has been one of the more painful implosions I can remember. Just for reference, here's a quick rundown of May so far:

May 1: Win 11-2 at Houston. Alright, way to start the month off strong. The bats wake up, the bullpen gets to relax a little bit. Bronson finally get some run support. We're right in the race. All is right with the world.

May 2: Lose 1-3 at Houston. Fucking Roy Oswalt. Can we get him put in a different division? Jesus Christ this guy is incredible. Adam Dunn's homer is the only run in the game. Just excruciating to watch, unless you're an Astros fan, I presume.

May 3: Lose 5-7 at Houston. Well, that was certainly exciting. The Redlegs come back to score three in the top of the eight and take a 5-4 lead. This one would have been a big win. I had one commercial break worth of excitement until Mike Stanton (the 40 year old) enters the game in the bottom of the inning and gives up three without recording an out. Way to blow a division series.

May 4: Lose 4-5 vs. Colorado. Both starters kind of sucked in this one, Griffey homered which was encouraging and the game went into extra innings. Enter the incomparable Mike Stanton. Having borrowed a 12 year old girl's arm again, he surrenders the winning run in the 11th. Surely, he's got to snap out of it, right?

May 5: Lose 9-7 vs. Colorado. The Rockies clinch their first road series win of the season. Encouraging. Harang struggles, Coffey sucks, Santos let's it blow wide open. A two run eigth inning rally falls short. The Java Man is found crying into his espresso at his locker after the game. Seriously, we're not better than Colorado?

May 6: Win 9-3 vs. Colorado. Thank you baseball gods. I don't know if I could handle losing three straight at home to the Rockies. Arroyo doesn't pitch his best, but the bats come to life against the venerable Josh Fogg. Josh Hamilton hit two homers in this game. Jeeze, the guy is incredible. My meth dealer has nothing but good things to say about him, too.

May 7: Lose 5-4 vs. Houston. Oh, sweet. Oswalt again. Twice in one week. That's just great. What's that? Yes, I do realize I'm holding a clump of my own hair. Oswalt pitches 7 strong innings, but the Reds are still in the game and take the lead. Ryan Freel goes 0-5 with two strikeouts batting leadoff. That's knowing your role. Ohhh and guess what. The 40 year old noodle arm has another ERA of infinity on the night and the 'Stros come back to win against the bullpen.

May 8: Lose 6-7 vs. Houston. Eric Milton doesn't completely suck, he only mostly sucks but gives the Reds a chance to win the game. Alas, the bullpen surrenders three more runs and Dave Weathers can't even hold to a one run game in the ninth. I think I'm hyperventilating, pass me that brown paper bag, and that bottle of Scotch.

May 9: Lose 2-3 vs. Houston. Woody Williams shuts down the bats giving up 2 through 6.2 and yet another solid performance by Matt Belisle goes wasted. Woody fucking Williams. The bullpen throws out some guys who aren't fat and/or old and somehow they don't give up any runs. Shocking.

May 10: Win 9-5 vs. Houston. Way to "salvage" this four game series. Winning only the final game of a four game home series is like masturbating after some lackluster sex. Sure, you got off, but what the hell were you doing the rest of the time? By the way, Griffey and Dunn are quietly getting hot.

May 11: Lose 0-2 at Los Angeles. This was the game where Randy Wolf decided to strike out 11 in seven innings. Yeah, who saw that one coming? Arroyo pitches well again and fails to get a win. His ERA is UNDER THREE and he only has two wins!! Tragic, really. Note: this begins the west coast road trip where everything got hazy at about the 6th inning when I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore.

May 12: Lose 3-7 at Los Angeles. Brad Penny has big sloping shoulders. He scares me. He also scared the Reds' lineup. The Dodgers threw up a five spot on Lohse in the fifth and that's all it took. This is a frustrating LA lineup. No power, no superstars, just smart hitters who knock in base runners. Well, at least I still like my pick for them to win the West.

May 13: Lose 5-10 at Los Angeles. Happy Mothers' Day! The bullpen gives up five in a tie game going into the eighth. Shockingly, Mike Stanton was only responsible for one of those. Stanton's current ERA, a robust 8.18. Sweep! My apathy has peaked.

May 14: Lose 1-7 at San Diego. As the headlines point out, Maddux pitches his first complete game in two years. Have he and Randy Wolf formed some sort of secret society to conspire against Cincinnati? What is happening? Where am I? Greg Maddux is supposed to be an over-the-hill serviceable pitcher who gives you six innings and then goes and takes a nap.

May 15: Win 2-1 at San Diego. Aaron Harang pitches nine and gives up one run, and the game goes to extra innings. Somehow David Wells goes 8 innings with 1 ER. What the fuck is going on here? .... Give me a minute.... a blood vessel in my brain just burst. Griffey hits a homer in the 12th to push the Reds over the top. Congrats to the bullpen on one game not blown. I feel like we need one of those signs they hang up in factories: "This bullpen has gone __ days without a blown save. Let's keep it that way."

May 16: Lose 2-3 at San Diego. A grand total of five runs scored in this series. Talk about offense! Arroyo went a complete game, eight innings and still lost. One ER and two errors equals three runs for the Padres. For the record, the defense still sucks. I know I haven't mentioned it to this point, so let me reiterate: the defense still sucks balls. Gah.

So, there you have it. The Reds have checked in with a 4-12 record in the month of May dropping themselves to the bottom of the division (10 games back) and close to the worst record in baseball. How quickly it can happen. So, here's my final question. As a fan, is it better for your team to blow the season in May and free up the rest of your summer, or is it more fun to see a competitive team until August/September completely shit the bed? I'm on the fence, myself.

8 comments:

trout said...

Wow. That is a LOT of Reds coverage. Apparently frustration breeds words. Lots of them.

Gage said...

I find that angst regularly inspires a certain verbose quality in me. It's been a stressful week.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate you laying out the misery of the last few weeks in such an easy-to-read post. Now I can point to this when my girlfriend asks if I'm crying after yet another self-destructive 9th inning. (For the record, I was not crying when Arroyo walked in the winning run. Really.)

I think I'd rather have them blow it early, then I have more free time and can peripherally check on them without feeling too emotionally involved, just in case a miracle happens.

The late season collapse is more difficult, I think, because it's so rare the Reds are intact post-All Star Weekend, that when they finally manage to stay in it into August/September, I think "This must be it - they will pull it out - it's all coming together!" Only to be crushed.

I'd rather not get my hopes up at all, to tell you the truth. Our GM seems to agree with me.

Gage said...

It's just so painful to see a team be competitive and let the bullpen give away so many games. I forgot to mention that Arroyo walk. Man, atrocious.
If the Reds are legitimately already looking down the road, they're probably thinking about building for two years from now. Griffey and Milton's big contracts will be gone. Bailey will be up, Harang and Arroyo will still be strong. Votto will be at 1B and Dunner will still be around. Plus, Gonzales, (hopefully) Hamilton and Phillips. Then the've just gotta shore up the bullpen. Griffey/Milton's money would allow for that.

Tittle500 said...

I'd rather the Cubs go down the shitter early so that I can get tix from scalpers really easily for a game or six.

Notorious B.O.B. said...

Spoken like a true Cubs fan. Winning's not important, just having a good drinkin' seat in Wrigley is all that matters.

Jason said...

The bad thing with the Cubs, Tittle500, is that it is still hard to find tickets even when the team sucks.

The great thing about the Cubs organization is that going to games IS still fun even when the team is no good. Isn't that what sports are supposed to be about, entertainment?

I enjoy the team tanking towards the end of the season. That way I can stay interested for most of the season and do better in Fantasy Baseball.

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