ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fitting that it comes down to Johnny Cueto in this Ã¢â‚¬Å“down the rabbit holeÃ¢â‚¬Â of a season, where it was 13 runs one night, one run the next. Where the Reds best player and the Face of MLB was defined and ultimately maligned. Where a 90-win season is a disappointment because of the final five games.
Go figure. I certainly canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t.
WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve insisted on dissecting this patient before itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s even hit the slab. They got no intensity. No mojo. None of those intangibles Scotty Rolen used to carry around in the pocket of his warm-up jacket. No Tony Cingrani Face. The latter took the last train to Arizona.
Of course, what they really donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t possess are right handed hitters. The Brothers RyanÃ¢â‚¬â€Ludwick & HaniganÃ¢â‚¬â€one done on Opening Day, the other with busted up hands for much of the season. A backup catcher who hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t developed yet. An off the rack RH bat named Chris Heisey, who lost himself another shot at claiming an everyday spot in the lineup because of a whiny hamstring. And of course, DatDude, who chose driving in runs at the expense of his AVG, OBP, SLG and OPSÃ¢â‚¬â€all career lows, as a result.
But never mind all that. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been pitching all year that has saved this club’s collective bacon. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m willing to ride the Pitching Train, if thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what it takes and worry about such mundane things as bone chips tomorrow. Cueto leaps off the back of the milk carton just in time. Our Ã¢â‚¬Å“For Your ConsiderationÃ¢â‚¬Â 2012 Cy Young candidate, who has missed most of the season, is here to save it.
In the nick.
Back in the 70s, the Reds owned the Buccos when playoff time rolled around. I see no reason for that to change tonight. If you were around then, you know what IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m talking about.
Excuse me, Johnny, while I go all Simon and Garfunkel on everybody: Redleg Nation turns itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lonely eyes to you. Save the Woo.
Meanwhile, some punk named Melancon wants his fifteen minutes:
Rough up the Reds? Really, Mark? Anybody wanna play ball?
Okay, then. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s do this.