Flush, if you can, all memory of that last series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The implosion from Raisel Iglesias, the horrid attempts at hitting, the Joey Votto infield pop-up, all of it.
That entire series was a microcosm of what has been ailing these Cincinnati Reds from day one of the 2019 season - woeful offense, spoiling great starting pitching performances, grasping defeats from the jaws of victory, losing by a single run, and failing to put a single W on the ledger in away games. Fortunately - fortunately? - fortunately, the Reds will have another long weekend of chances to right that ship, as they begin a four game series against the San Diego Padres tonight.
These are not your ‘rebuilding while the Reds are also rebuilding’ Padres, either. They’ve lobbed copious cash to land both Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado, have promoted top prospects Fernando Tatis, Jr. and Chris Paddack despite the ability to instead manipulate their respective service clocks for future exploitation, and after the departure of the Chargers north to LA can now lay claim to the entire San Diego professional sports market as their own. In fact, had the Reds not given the Dodgers an easy three wins earlier this week, the 11-8 Padres would sit atop the NL West at this juncture, though now they’re only a mere half-game behind LA...with four games against the Reds next up on the schedule.
The Reds will send Tanner Roark to the mound to hope to stem the losing, though the reality is that they really just need their bats to wake the hell up for the first time since their 14 run outburst against the woeful Miami Marlins. They’ll need to do so against Paddack, too, who will start for the Padres again tonight after posting some pretty dazzling numbers through the first three starts of his career - 1.29 ERA, 2.10 FIP, 16/6 K/BB in 14.0 IP.
First pitch is set for a late 10:10 PM ET, so you probably need to go ahead and decide right meow whether you’re going to try to stay up for this one.
Matt Kemp is starting, again, and hitting cleanup, in case that helps you decide.