The Reds finally pulled up out of a neck-snapping nosedive last night, thanks in no small part to the sublime Sonny Gray. Tonight they will be relying on staff ace Luis Castillo and his red right hand.
His last time on the bump he threw 6 2/3 perfectly decent innings against the Nationals, only to watch the bullpen lose the lunch. There was a time right around the All-Star break when Castillo was leading the entire world in walks allowed, but he has really sharpened up in the last month+. In his last seven starts he has thrown 45 1/3 innings, striking out 57 against just nine walks (his ERA ticked up a bit to 3.18 in that span). Looks like Happy learned how to putt. Uh oh!
Adam Wainwright is 37 and he just won’t go away. He is throwing yet another completely fine season for your least-favorite baseball team, posting a 4.35 ERA in 22 starts. He isn’t the staff ace he once was, but rest assured he is still absolutely worthy of your detestation and abject loathing. Please go away, Adam Wainwright. I hope the Reds hit a million home runs off of him tonight.
Joey Votto is not in the starting lineup again today as he nurses a sore back. It does not appear to be serious enough to warrant a week-and-a-half on the IL, but the old feller could take a few days to rest.
More concerning is the fact that Jesse Winker is not in the starting lineup tonight. He was curiously out of the lineup last night, too, so two days in the row got me shook a bit. They have made no announcements about an injury or anything (like Votto), so it seems it’s just a “he’s not starting” kinda thing.
David Bell has been platooning the entire outfield corps for a while, which honestly is dumb. Winker is hitting .269/.355/.473 for the season and .285/.378/.466 for his career (740 PAs now). Eugenio Suarez’s career slash is .263/.341/.461. Suarez (along with Joey Votto) has his name in the lineup written in ink every single day. There is no reason why Jesse Winker shouldn’t be doing the same. He’s too damn good to be platooning or benching or whatever.
First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET.