Last night saw the best of the Cincinnati Reds when they needed it most, as they clawed their way back from a 3-1 deficit to down the Chicago Cubs 6-3 in the opener of their most important series in years. As a result, they’re now out of the NL Central cellar (by win %), just 5.5 games back in the division, and a mere 3.5 games out of a Wild Card spot.
And tonight, they’ve got a chance to win yet another series against the Cubs, which is never not a fun sentence to type.
They’ll do so with Anthony DeSclafani on the mound, who tossed 6 scoreless innings against these Cubs just over two weeks ago. It’s been a pretty good run for Disco of late, too, as that was part of a run that’s seen him pitch to a 3.06 ERA over his previous 6 starts dating back to June 6th, so hopefully the extended break around the All Star Game hasn’t slowed his roll.
On the mound for Chicago will be Alec Mills, who’s filling in the rotation spot vacated by the injured Cole Hamels. Mills was tagged for 15 dingers in 80.0 IP in the AAA Pacific Coast League earlier this season - the extremely hitter-happy PCL, that is - but the 27 year old has made the most of his time in the bigs, pitching to a 4.00 ERA and impressive 2.49 FIP in his trio of appearances last year. You may recall that includes 5.1 innings of 1 ER ball against the Reds last August in what’s easily the longest and best outing of his MLB career, although that came against a Reds lineup that featured Billy Hamilton, Mason Williams, Brandon Dixon, Dilson Herrera, and Preston Tucker getting PAs in the game.
Also of note: Jesse Winker is back in the starting lineup hitting leadoff, which is a wonderful sign given the grimaces he showed before being removed with a side issue this weekend.
Go Reds. Go watch the Reds. The Reds will begin to go tonight at 8:05 PM ET. Go, go, go.