The Reds start a 3-game set against the last-place Washington Nationals, who are 15-40 heading into tonight. The home team has a 10-game winning streak in this series, with both teams sweeping at home last season. Neither team is playing particularly well right now, with the Reds dropping 7 of their last 10 and the Nationals managing just 4 wins in their last 23 games. This is a great opportunity for the Reds to beat up on a bad team, but with the way they have been hitting lately, who knows?
The Reds will be facing rookie Jordan Zimmermann for the first time. The 23-year old has been erratic through his first 9 big league starts. He has pitched better at home than on the road though, posting a 4.85 ERA and striking out nearly 6 times as many batters as he has walked. He's somewhat prone to giving up the long ball, particularly to right-handers, who have hit 5 off of him in 87 AB. I have no idea on how prone he is to giving up sacrifice hits though.
Johnny Cueto will take the mound for the Reds, making his 12th start of the season. Cueto had his streak of consecutive games completing 7 innings or more broken in his last start when he only managed to go 6.1 innings against the Cardinals. He still pitched well in that start, scattering 7 hits and allowing just 1 run while striking 3 and walking nobody. This will be his 3rd start against the Nationals after going 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in 13 innings against them last season.
Other than that, I don't think there are any story lines. Lemme double check....nope, nothing else interesting about tonight's game. Enjoy it anyway!
Also, as much as possible, let's try to keep the draft coverage in the draft thread. I realize there will be some overlap, but I'd hate for an interesting discussion on a new draftee to get lost in a game thread.