The most recent sample of Cincinnati Reds baseball has been tremendous. They’re riding a 5-game win streak, appear to have allayed all fears of a collapse on a West Coast trip, and they’ve found ways to come back in games repeatedly after all signs pointed to their early demise.
The most recent sample of Nick Lodolo’s baseball season, however, has been quite the opposite. He’s taken a pair of starts right on the chin after a brilliant beginning to his 2023 campaign, allowing 14 ER in just 8.2 IP in starts against the admittedly formidable clubs in Tampa and Texas, but it’s the 5 homers he’s allowed in that time that stick out like a sore thumb. It is worth pointing out that both of those outings came in the cozy confines of GABP, and in Nick’s lone start on the road this year he blitzed the Philadelphia Phillies for 7.0 IP of scoreless, 12 K ball.
Maybe, just maybe, getting out of GABP will help him correct things. Maybe.
Big lefty Ken Waldichuk will be on the mound for Oakland today, and the Reds have countered with a righty-heavy lineup to match him. Said lineup also features a few regulars getting days off - it is a day-game and getaway day, as well - but the hope is that the hot bats still within the lineup today can keep on cranking out hits. Waldichuk, you’ll recall, was one of the key pieces sent to Oakland last summer by the New York Yankees in the deal that sent Frankie Montas back to the Bronx - the same Frankie Montas who was a key piece of the three-team trade in 2015 that saw the Reds ship Todd Frazier to the Chicago White Sox and receive Jose Peraza (gulp), Brandon Dixon (gulp), and Scott Schebler (RIP shoulder) from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the whirlwind.
Leading off for the Reds today is Kevin Newman, by the way. Since the start of the 2020 season, 202 big leaguers have logged at least 900 PA, and only one - 1 - has accrued a lower wOBA than Newman’s .265 in that time (Jackie Bradley, Jr. at .258). I digress.
First pitch is set for 4:07 PM ET, after which the Reds will travel south to San Diego for a series against the Padres. Wait...they’ll do that after last pitch, but you know what I mean.