Yesterday very well could have have ended the Cincinnati Reds season. A pair of losses in their doubleheader against the Milwaukee Brewers would’ve left them an ugly 11-19, woefully adrift of a playoff spot at this season’s midpoint, and forced to face the realities of their struggles just days before the trade deadline.
Instead, a day of good play has them now just a single game out of playoff position in this wild 2020 season. And to follow it up, they’ll welcome the Chicago Cubs for a busy weekend of ball in GABP, with 4 games scheduled for 3 days.
Friday’s matchup will feature Kyle Hendricks on the mound for Chicago opposite Tyler Mahle for Cincinnati. Hendricks has stumbled a bit after firing a complete game shutout in his season debut, pitching to a 4.66 ERA in the 5 starts since then. The Cubs as a whole, meanwhile, come to town fresh off back to back series losses at the hands of the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers, respectively, and aren’t exactly playing their best ball of the season.
The Reds, on the other hand, have been doing something of a lineup churn for weeks now, what with Nick Senzel sidelined and Mike Moustakas out for some two weeks, and now have the added wrinkle of Joey Votto being benched for lack of performance, too. That caused a pretty serious positional adjustment, too, as shortstop prospect Jose Garcia was called up while both Freddy Galvis and Moose moved across the diamond to accommodate.
We’ll see if Thursday’s heroics were a mere one-day burst, or something sustainable, when the first pitch is fired at roughly 7:10 PM ET. And when it happens, you’ll see players from both sides sporting #42 on their uniforms, as MLB is celebrating Jackie Robinson Day - which usually falls on April 15th - in all parks tonight.