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Reds at Indians Game Two: Preview and Lineups

Sal Romano vs Trevor Bauer

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Cleveland Indians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds beat the Indians last night 7-5 in a game that was much closer than that for most of it. But check it: Since June 21, the Reds have played two series against the Cubs, one each against the Brewers and Braves, and now this series against the Indians. These teams are a combined 204-153 this season. The Indians, Brewers, and Braves are all leading their respective divisions and the Cubs are just a 112 behind the Brewers. Since June 21, the Reds are 12-6 against them.

Right now, this Reds team is a good baseball team. They are not a good team relative to their lousy start. They are not a good team relative to my modest expectations for them. They are a good team. Full stop.

Tonight, Mustang Sally Romano toes the actuator against All-Star Trevor Bauer. He has earned that privilege and how this season. He leads the world in FIP (2.18) and has given up just five home runs in 121 innings. He has been a good-if-frustrating pitcher for the Indians over the last five seasons, and here at 27 he is finally putting everything together.

I really hope you keep that in mind when Sal Romano inevitably surrenders a home run or three this evening.