Last night was a real kick in the shins, aside from the fact that it was yet another 1-run loss. Phil Ervin stepped up and did big-time Phil Ervin things. We saw the return of Clutch Joey Votto. Aristides Aquino dingered, because that’s just what Aristides Aquino does. The Reds even staged a thrilling late rally.
Still, they lost. Bitten by another early Disco dinger surrendered, they were unable to overcome the Washington Nationals, dropping yet another game that was a virtual must-win if their 2019 dreams are to be realized.
That said, these Cincinnati Reds still have a chance to win a road series against a team they’re chasing in the Wild Card standings, and that chance begins tonight against rotation fill-in Joe Ross. The righty owns an ugly 6.75 ERA and 1.75 WHIP in 36 IP so far this season, but after stepping back into the rotation for the injured Max Scherzer he has mostly looked like a completely different guy, having fired 11.1 scoreless IP over his last 2 starts, games in which he held the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants to a combined .385 OPS.
Neither the Diamondbacks nor Giants have Aristides Aquino, however, so the Reds have that going for them - which is nice.
Meanwhile, the Reds will counter with lefty Alex Wood, who is still looking for his first truly excellent start as a Red. His outing against the Atlanta Braves was tantalizing - 2 ER in 6.2 IP against his former club - but he fell back to earth with a 5 ER clunker against the Chicago Cubs in this past weekend’s big-time hype-’em-up series. Hopefully, he can lay waste to the Nationals tonight, but that looks like it will be somewhat tough on paper, given that Washington’s team wOBA of .344 against LHP is the 5th best in all of baseball.
First pitch is set for 7:05 PM ET. Go Reds, go.