The Cincinnati Reds pulled off something last night that they had not done in quite awhile - win a close, tight, close-tight pitching matchup. On top of that, they did so in a contest featuring three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, a feat that deserves a tip of the cap, too.
Now, I just hope they immediately forgot about it and moved on, since they’ve already dug themselves a deep enough hole this season to ill-afford a hangover day. Tonight, they’ll face off against Joe Ross and his 5.96 FIP, and damn well better sock some dingers to help erase all memory (and all gap in the standings) created by last week’s miserable homestand.
To do so, they’ll need help from Jeff Hoffman, who’ll toe the rubber in a red C hat. Hoffman was effectively wild in his last start against the Milwaukee Brewers - just a lone ER in 5.0 IP, but 4 more BB that helped spike his season BB/9 to an ugly 5.0, too. Even with that outing, he’s allowed 16 R (13 ER) in 19.1 IP over his last 5 starts, and that’s the kind of slump that should have him very much looking over his shoulder on the depth chart should he not correct things quickly.
(Speaking of which, the Reds announced earlier today that Vlad Gutierrez will be promoted to make a start on Friday in the stead of Wade Miley, so keep that in mind here, too.)
Of course, they also announced that Nick Senzel - already on the 10-day IL with knee inflammation - is going to have some more inflammation in said knee on purpose. He’s having surgery and will miss 4-6 weeks, which just blows, man. Dude simply has no luck whatsoever.
First pitch from our nation’s capital is set for 7:05 PM ET.