Fresh off a somewhat disappointing series split with the Cubs this weekend, the Reds continue their stretch of Important Baseball in August tonight with a trip to Washington DC to face the Nationals, who currently lead the NL Wild Card standings.
The Reds are five games back in said standings (for the second spot, 5.5 back of the Nats), so as big as the weekend series with the Cubs was for the divisional standings, this is a pretty large three gamer for the Wild Card race (and all 97* teams involved in it).
The Nationals are fresh off a series loss to the suddenly white-hot Mets this weekend, though they salvaged yesterday’s game to avoid a sweep and remain on top of the WC standings.
The Reds will avoid Patrick Corbin and Max Scherzer this series, with the latter still sidelined with a back injury. They will catch Stephen Strasburg in the finale on Wednesday. Tonight, they’ll face off against Erick Fedde, who is fresh of a six inning shutout of the faltering San Francisco Giants last Monday. Fedde made a start against the Reds at Great American Ball Park back on June 1, where he pitched four innings of two earned run ball, though he found himself in trouble quite often in the start, with the Reds loading the bases in both the first and second innings of that game. In true Reds 2019 fashion, they only managed two runs across and lost, 5-2.
Fedde has a 4.20 ERA for the season, which is incredible considering he walks a lot of guys and strikes out basically no one. Hopefully the Reds can figure out how to hit through the smoke and mirrors this guy is using in 2019.
Anthony DeSclafani will take the mound for the Reds. He wasn’t quite a sharp as we’d come to expect the previous month, allowing four earned runs in 5.1 innings against the Angels. It was the first time he’d allowed more than three earned runs in his last six starts. In his career, Disco has pitched to a 2.17 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 29 innings against the Nationals, though this is the first time he is facing them this season.
Jose Iglesias is back in the lineup at SS since being sidelined for a bit with a sore biceps. Hopefully he won’t strain it tonight flexing on the Nationals.
The Nationals are without 20-year old phenom Juan Soto in their starting lineup tonight, as he injured his ankle rounding third base in yesterday’s game. The injury is considered minor and there was talk of him possibly getting into the lineup tonight. That’s not the case, but let’s see if he’s available tonight/back tomorrow.