It’s almost June, but the Reds will make their first appearance at Miller Park for the season tonight for a short, mid-week, two-game set.
Sonny Gray will go for the Reds in this one, looking for his first pitcher W of the season. He pitched well last Wednesday against the Cubs, walking no one and striking out seven. The home run ball bit him, however, as a pair of dingers accounted for three Cubs runs and a no decision.
The Reds would go on to walk that one off, you may remember. I do, because I was there.
This will be Sonny’s first career start in Miller Park.
The Reds will be opposed by lefty veteran Gio Gonzalez, and it shows with the lineup construction. Gonzalez has been excellent in four starts (21.1 IP) since signing in late April. He holds a 1.69 ERA for 2019 (2.99 FIP) with a 1.078 WHIP. As such, the Reds have stacked a basically all right-handed lineup against him, with the exception being one Joey Votto.
Joey Votto vs. Gio Gonzalez, career: 34 PA, .333/.412/.733 (3 2B, 2 HR, 4 BB, 8 K).
Phil Ervin is getting the start in RF for the banged up Yasiel Puig, while Jose Peraza is spelling Jesse Winker in LF because, you know, left handed pitcher.
The Reds need to string some wins together against a heavily tilted NL Central schedule coming up, so tonight’s the perfect place to start. The Brewers sit one game behind the Cubs for first in the Central at 28-21, while the Reds are six games behind the Beermakers for second place, at 21-26. Clawing back two this week would be a not so small thing.