It’s do or die day for the Reds. There’s no other way to put it.
With two wins, the Reds would move to 13-17. Not where they’d want to be, but would absolutely be the momentum shift they need to get this back on track. With two losses, they’re 11-19. At 11-19, they’re sellers and we’re shifting to talking about 2021. A split doubleheader doesn’t really tell us much.
Wade Miley will get the ball for the Reds in Game 2. Your buddy and mine Derek Grimes wrote the preview for the first game last night, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t copy and paste it since he already wrote it. Here’s Grimey:
They desperately need a well pitched game and for the offense to back it. Lucky for them, they’ve now got Jose Garcia around to help out. The lineup also has quite a few shakeups as a result.
Tonight they face Adrian Houser, fresh off a nine hit, four run outing against the Pirates in seven innings. He’s yet to face the Reds this season, but did appear in five different games against the club last season, with two starts. In total, he pitched 14 innings against the Reds last season good for a 4.50 ERA, with 10 K, two walks, and seven runs allowed.
His 2020 ERA of 3.72 through five starts and 29 innings matches exactly his 2019 ERA, which he split starting and relieving. His WHIP is nearly identical, too (1.240 vs. 1.241), as are many of his other peripheral numbers, with one exception. He’s only struck out 6.5 batters per nine innings in 2020, vs. a 9.5 mark in 2019. This can likely be chalked up to the difference between starting and relieving, but it’s caused his FIP to balloon to 4.74 this season.
A sinkerball pitcher, Houser is getting groundballs at a 66.3% rate, while 33% of his fly balls become home runs. If the Reds can get under a few tonight, they may be in good shape.
First pitch for Game 1 is set for 5:10 PM ET.