The Cincinnati Reds! The St. Louis Cardinals! There have been times before where a series like this would be a big, cool thing!
The Reds, however, are 20-37 and just placed perhaps their best still-healthy player on the not-healthy list yesterday. They’re devoid of Tyler Stephenson, Jonathan India, Donovan Solano, Nick Lodolo, Lucas Sims, Vladdy Gutes, Tejay Antone, Justin Dunn, Connor Overton (remember him?), Justin Wilson, Max Schrock, Jake Fraley, Tyler Naquin, and Mike Moustakas due to their placement on various injured lists, while each of Nick Senzel and Albert Almora, Jr. are banged-up to the point where they can’t start tonight’s series opener.
All that, and Jose Barrero is still stuck in Louisville. Ya got it?
If you’ve actually looked at the standings lately - as a Reds fan, I don’t blame you one bit if you’ve not - you’ll see that the Cardinals are predictably above .500 and in the mix for the division lead, just a half-game behind the Milwaukee Brewers for supremacy in the NL Central. So, they’ll be treating this game as a vital one, something that franchise has pretty much done every single game of every single season of every single year of my life.
Anyway, the Reds will send Luis Castillo to the hill to start tonight’s game, and while it’s likely as a showcase for the trade-haul they’ll hope to land in another month, at least we’ll get to watch him once more. He’ll be sharing the bump with Andre Pallante, who will likely be on a short leash given that he’s made 17 of his 18 appearances so far in 2022 as a reliever - his 4.0 IP on June 4th is the longest outing he’s had all year as he gets stretched out.
First pitch is set for 8:15 PM ET, and will be found televised on Bally Sports Ohio (and MLB.tv for you fellow out-of-marketers).
Go Reds, those of you who are left. Or don’t, for draft position purposes.