To misquote John Glenn’s character in The Right Stuff, we need to be forthright, magnanimous, and gracious concerning our recent series with the Stupid Cubs: We lost that series. We lost that series and, with it, a giant opportunity to make up some room in the division race which it’s insane hope we will even be a position to eye the wild card race.

At this point I insert the following tweet from my distinguished Redleg Nation colleague Nick Kirby:

I have bestowed upon this tweet the imprimatur of my like. Losing a series to the Stupid Cubs is better after reading this tweet. I realize this is much like the producers of The Biggest Loser asking contestants to eat as many terrible calorie-laden things as they can so their initial weigh-in is as high as possible as they prepare to conquer their food addiction. I stuff this tweet right into my face anyway.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher ERA WHIP IP SO W L
Tyler Mahle  3.99 1.37 97.0 95 5 6
Dakota Hudson 3.48 1.51 98.1 73 8 4

REDS

I feel like I’ve been taken 98 MPH pitches directly to the face so often from David Hernandez that every Reds pitcher I consider makes me think about David Hernandez, and then the twitching and the crying starts.

POOPING RED BIRDS

I can’t remember if I’ve done a Game Thread with Dakota Hudson in it or not. If not, I need to point out that this is perhaps the stripperiest name ever to appear on the mound in the history of Major League Baseball. If so, his name is so strippery that this has to be acknowledged twice.

Bullpen

It’s not that the Reds bullpen has been horrible, necessarily, it’s just that the bats have fallen silent again. When the big cheery takeaway from yesterday’s game was “We avoided being no-hit, YES,” there are Problems.

I had a question for you guys about St. Louis’ bullpen, but I forgot what it is after I typed the BULLPEN headline. I’ll let you know when I think of it. I’ll probably just Google it at 2:28 AM anyway.

Starting Lineups

REDS

  1. J Winker (L) CF
  2. J Votto (L) 1B
  3. E Suárez (R) 3B
  4. Y Puig (R) RF
  5. S Gennett (L) 2B
  6. P Ervin (R) LF
  7. J Iglesias (R) SS
  8. J Graterol (R) C
  9. T Roark (R) P

POOPING RED BIRDS

  1. T Edman (S) 3B
  2. J Martínez (R) RF
  3. P Goldschmidt (R) 1B
  4. T O’Neill (R) LF
  5. D Fowler (S) CF
  6. M Wieters (S) C
  7. P DeJong (R) SS
  8. K Wong (L) 2B
  9. D Hudson (R) P

News and Notes

-Today is the Yasiel Puig WIld Horse bobblehead giveaway at Great American Ball Park. The bobblehead is awesome, which means you will be murdered for it right on the View Level concourse.

-It’s pouring down rain here on the West Side as I type this, so expect a first pitch weather reality of 15 degrees with a chance of volcanic activity.

-Lots of roster moves today, about which I understand pretty much 0% and Redleg Nations’s Doug Gray understands eleventy million percent. Some of the shuffling addresses our catcher shortage and the fact that the Johnny Bench statue outside the Reds Hall of Fame will be starting tonight.

-I have also reflected deeply in my heart upon your suggestions that I write Game Threads more often. We do that on a rotating basis around here, and it’s mean to take away my enjoyment of my fellow writers’ work on their own Game Threads. So I decided to do something that’s… not that.

What I most enjoy about the Game Threads, outside of interacting with all of you in the comments, is seeing how it functions as a Polaroid of life and the season. Slowly unfolding story that it is, baseball can seem to bleed one game into the next, and it’s tough to see where we are in the season–and our lives–when we’re in the midst of it. So, using that concept as a slingshot. I’ve started Game Day Therapy. Because I have no wish to disrupt the wonderful beer-and-insult-and-stats throwing community which has sprung up here in the Game Day and Recap threads, it will link back to RN’s daily Game Thread. It often updates or even publishes after the last out to add in observations and post-game screaming. Game Day Therapy publishes every day the Reds play, and will do so at least three times a week in the off season.

Reds fans are familiar with this concept: Our own Jim Brosnon wrote The Long Season, his memoir of pitching for the Cardinals in 1959, and Pennant Race in 1961. Like “Baseball Is Life,” Game Day Therapy wanders–often far afield– from the analytics and the highlights to discuss how the game wanders in and out of our daily lives, providing definition and contrast. You come here to Redleg Nation for careful research, informed analysis, and relevant news from my colleagues. But like my Game Threads, Game Day Therapy will have none of that. You’ll get screenshots from Miami Vice and a lot of complaining and the occasional sideswipe at the Pirates.

Because I enjoy eating and also the ability to purchase sequins for my track suits, Game Day Therapy is a Patreon project. Those of you familiar with Doug’s indispensable coverage of the Reds minor league system know how this works: There’s a monthy fee for article access, and I’m going to throw books at you too (Gently, through the mail.) But since I’m just starting and have completed such professional writerly maneuvers as accidentally deleting a 1200- word post, the Rockies series is free and clear. (It’s still under construction… I’m still learning this and having trouble with the posts from the Cubs series. But that should be ironed right out soon.) Tiers start for the price of less half of than a GABP beer, and these posts are calorie-free, will fit in any cupholder, and may be taken out of the ball park.

I greatly appreciate all of your comments and encouragement. They mean more than you know. They gave me the courage to try this. I hope to see you over there.