Well, this should be interesting. Micah Owings makes his second career start as a Red, even though it seems like he's been on this team forever. This start will be a big test for Owings. He needs to go out and prove that his struggles in his first start was just shaking the rust off after not pitching for a few weeks, and with all the talk of converting him to an outfielder full-time, he's definitely eager to go out and prove he belongs in the rotation.
He'll face Rich Harden, who doesn't have a win in his two starts so far this year. He was solid in his first one, but in his last start (against Colorado), he threw 94 pitches in 3 innings of work (and got the loss). Even though he struck out 8, I think this is how we beat him tonight.
Another story of the evening is the return of Jay Bruce to the lineup. He'll bat 6th tonight, coming off a hand injury (caused by either a check swing or a HBP, nobody's sure). Unfortunately, even going a combined 3-for-7 still keeps Paul Janish and Ryan Hanigan on the bench, but I guess that's because Arroyo needs a personal catcher and shortstop now. Diva.
Of course, Janish should be in the lineup today, allowing Brandon Phillips to take a day off. BP has just one hit in his last 7 games, for an average of .042 over that span. The team has really rallied around him going 5-2, but it would be really nice to see him and Bruce bounce back in a big way tonight. They'll really have to step up based on their career averages against the Cubs, which are .206 for BP and .214 for Bruce. Yikes.
Although it's early in the season, a win tonight puts the Reds in at least 2nd place in the NL Central, and if they win and the Cards lose, could pull the Reds to first place. Even with all of the miscues on the basepaths and the field, and the lack of hitting, being in first place would be a strong point of optimism at this point in the season.
Most people with a TV should be able to catch this one, as it'll be aired on FSN Ohio and WGN nationwide. You can also follow along with GameDay if you don't have a TV. If you don't have a computer or a TV, you can listen on WLW, but this game thread won't have much use to you. Go Reds!