I gotta be honest, this series kind of scares me. The Brewers have been playing better baseball since the break and are on a 4-game win streak. They're going to be highly motivated coming into this series since they are riding the borderline of being out of it. If they don't make a move now, they might as well pack it up and go home. A sweep and they'll only be 5 back of the Reds. That's why a win tonight for the Reds could be deflating for them since they'll at best be able to gain just one game. They say the first game of the series is the most important, and I'd say in this series, that is especially true.
Bronson Arroyo is looking to rebound from a bad start when he went up against Stephen Strasburg last week. After having given up 3 runs in his previous 21 innings, Arroyo allowed 7 in 5.2 innings versus the Nationals, taking his 5th loss of the season. Arroyo has 10 wins though and he is trying to become the first Reds pitcher since Tom Browning (1988-1990) to win 15 or more games in 3 consecutive seasons. With around 13 starts left, he has a good shot at it, but he can't be laying eggs like he did last week.
Randy Wolf has owned the Reds during his career, going 9-2 with a 3.11 ERA in 16 starts. His 9.8 K/9 versus the Reds is the highest versus any one team he has faced more than once.Then again, he hasn't faced the Reds since July of last year, and he's been decidedly below his career norms this year. He's coming off of a debacle against the Pirates where he gave up 12 runs in 5.2 innings. Hopefully we'll see more of the same tonight.
Keep winning series and we'll find the Reds with a damn fine record at the end of the year. Let's start it off with game one tonight. Go Reds!