With rumors seemingly everywhere you turn regarding Cliff Lee’s next stop, the Reds and Mariners have on-field business to take care of.
I always enjoy when the Reds face an ace pitcher, in the fact that I get excited about them beating one of the game’s best. This excitement lasts until about the 5th inning of said game; of which I’m no longer excited anymore. See Zack Greinke’s start at Great American last weekend in which the Reds got only three runs and Greinke ended up with a complete game shutout.
This weekend, it’s late night encounters with Seattle’s two dominant starters. Tonight, Cliff Lee takes the mound; and tomorrow night the Reds do battle with Felix Hernandez. Hernandez was a guy I predicted as the American League Cy Young Award Winner coming into this 2010 season.
Things have not worked out like they were drawn up for the Seattle Mariners. The lineup is meager, and King Felix hasn’t thrown all that well (4-5, 3.61 ERA). It seems that every ace uses the Reds as a stepping stone to get healthy again and help those indicating stats out.
This series comes at a time when the Reds simply cannot afford to lose another series. They are a half game ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central race, and every game right now matters in what appears to at-best figures to work out to be a tight race at year’s end.
The Reds have to find a way to beat or wait out one of these tough pitchers. Someone in our lineup must rise up and find a way to slay the dragon. The Reds have made legend (in a bad way) out of these West Coast trips in the past. What we do on this road trip and against this pair of aces just might echo into eternity.