With the third lefty of the season slated to start against them already on Saturday, Jake Fraley was once again on the pine for the bulk of the game for the Cincinnati Reds. It marked the third such time that’s happened already this year, as the Reds and manager David Bell aim for supreme platoon advantages at every step of the way this year.
That changes this afternoon, as it will be righty Taijuan Walker on the bump for the Philadelphia Phillies in a matchup that should have Fraley poised to sock a couple, if not a trio of dingers the way this idiotic headline described.
Walker, now 30, has faced perilously few of the current Reds throughout his career. Wil Myers has 10 PA in his career against him (with a pair of doubles), and that’s far and away the most by any current Reds hitter - Joey Votto, still rehabbing in Louisville, is 3 for 7 with a walk and HBP in 9 PA against him. Fraley has a walk and a sac-fly off Walker in just 3 PA, yet for whatever reason I chose him to be the team’s offensive breakout star for the day.
I think the premise of this ramble is that Graham Ashcraft got bumped back a day, Alexis Diaz threw 30 pitches in yesterday’s tire fire and will likely be unavailable out of the bullpen today, and Connor Overton has gotten shelled more often than not most times we’ve seen him this season. The offense, quite frankly, is going to have to do the heavy lifting today if the Reds are going to escape Philly with even a lone victory from within this series.
First pitch is an early 1:05 PM ET. And Jake Fraley is going to sock some dingers.