Monday, April 16, 2007

Game Preview - Sausage Voodoo

The Sausages come to GAB(p) for a mercifully short two game series. Last year, the Sausages won the season series with a 10-9 record against the Reds. Nineteen times? NINETEEN in one year? Just think, if three or four of those nineteen games against the Sausages would have gone the Reds' way, we would have played baseball in October instead of the Deadbirds! It's a pretty widely held opinion that MLB scheduling is retarded, but nineteen times is ridiculous even for the ridiculous scheduling. This year we only have to play them fifteen times, which is better, though still about three times too many. I agree with Marty Brennaman who says teams from the same division should play each other twelve times a season, and teams from outside the division should play each other nine times instead of six, alternating between each other's ballparks every other year for the third series. There's no reason that we should play a team only six times when we are competing against each other for the Wild Card!

And with that ridiculously long tangent, I give you a preview of tonight's game. Ok, it's not really a preview. Just a couple of notes on the Sausages.

The player on every Reds' fan's mind is Bill Hall, he of Bill Hall All Stars fame.
The Bill Hall All Stars are a collection of opposing players who, for some reason, perform appreciably better against the Reds than the rest of the league or have been known to destroy the Reds at every given opportunity. While this team can carry the occasional real-life All Star, MLB Hall of Famers or future Hall of Famers do not qualify since those players typically kill everybody.

This team is epitomized by their leader and founder, Bill Hall, who in 59 games (thru 2006) against the Reds carries a .312/.384/.638/1.022 batting line, considerably higher than his career batting line of .264/.319/.473/.792. Hall is also famous for beating the Reds on consecutive nights in 2004, first with a 3-run, walk-off home run on April 27th, and then with a 10th inning suicide squeeze on April 28th, a game that the Reds led 9-0 in the top of the 4th but lost 10-9.
Hall currently is hitting .171/.256/.343 but that is not indicative of how he will play during this series, especially with Longball Milton pitching tonight.

Chris Capuano, who starts tonight, is 1-3 with a 6.30 ERA in five career starts vs. Cincy, so at least the Reds have had a little luck against him. The Reds get more luck in missing Ben Sheets, as Dave Bush goes tomorrow night. It's really a shame the Reds have to use Milton, given that the other four starters are doing pretty darn well. Or at least Harang will soon.

I never used to care about this team, I guess because they spent my childhood in the American League. But recently, I've come to strongly dislike them based on the Reds' poor performance against their mediocre players like Hall and Tomo Ohka (thank god he's gone.) They haven't quite reached hated status yet, but if they continue to beat up on the Reds, they just might get there. At least Lyle Overbay moved to the American League.

To help the Reds out, I'm practicing a little virtual Sausage Voodoo.

p.s. Don't forget to swing by Brew Crew Ball during the series!

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