There’s a distinct chance that we’ll end up with one of two compelling storylines in tonight’s game between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates.
We’ll might see a vintage outing from Homer Bailey, this time as the scrappy, injury-riddled veteran who’s putting up a fight to keep his job in the starting rotation. Or, we might well be watching one of the final starts of his lengthy Cincinnati career, should his mighty struggles continue once more.
It’s impossible to deny that the rebuild’s youth movement in the rotation, Bailey’s age and underperformance, and the pending return of Anthony DeSclafani have slammed together as a perfect storm, and barring a quick 180, Bailey looks like the obvious choice to lose his rotation spot within the next week or so. Tonight, against a Pittsburgh franchise he’s dominated often in his career, he’ll have a chance to say not yet, though, and there’s a large part of me that hopes he comes right out and does so.
On offense, the Reds bats will have to tangle with Pirates starter Chad Kuhl, who they faced for 5 innings of 2 ER ball back on April 7th.
First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET.
Tonight's #Reds lineup as Geno and company look to keep the bats hot against the Bucs. ➡️ https://t.co/fgy0jZGK5w pic.twitter.com/9WKR8nAWgN— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 23, 2018
Here's our lineup for tonight, presented by Honda.#LetsGoBucs— Pirates (@Pirates) May 23, 2018
- Counting tonight, Alex Blandino has started just 5 of the last 17 games for the Reds. In that span, Jose Peraza has hit just .159/.197/.190.
- Tucker Barnhart, who had never hit higher than 5th in the lineup in his career prior to yesterday, is again hitting in the 2-spot in the lineup. There are plenty of things I’d do differently with the lineup if given the keys to that car, but I honestly can’t really complain with the idea for the time being.
- Scott Schebler is so, so overdue to hit a ball a billion feet. Tonight’s going to be the night.
- Go Reds.