The Cincinnati Reds started the season with their gas tank on empty. Since rolling into St. Louis after an impressive series victory against the New York Yankees, they have once again looked gassed, too.
After dropping the first two games of their final series of the first ‘half,’ the Reds will get a chance to salvage one on Sunday in the finale. In it, they’ll get Graham Ashcraft on the bump hoping to do his usual hurling of 99 mph cinderblocks that the opposition cannot do anything with, assuming the weather in St. Louis cooperates enough - it’s been pouring down rain there all day so far.
The Reds will also be tasked with foiling the exploits of lefty Steven Matz, though his 6.03 ERA and 1.39 WHIP so far this year suggest that’s something that most teams have managed to accomplish.
Joey Votto has an even .700 OPS on the eve of the All Star break. After last year’s raucous renaissance, I didn’t think I’d be typing that kind of nonsense this late into 2022. He’ll have today’s game to make sure he doesn’t head into the break with an OPS that begins with a ‘6,’ though he’s also just 5 ribbies away from 1100 in his career, so today really could go both ways for him.
First pitch is set for 2:15 PM ET once again, should Mother Nature decide to stick to the arbitrary human schedule.