Daniel Descalso doubled, Chris Owings popped out in foul territory, Alex Avila coaxed a walk, and Nick Ahmed followed with a 3-run homer over the LF wall in Citizens Bank Park. When Matt Koch followed with a walk of his own, Philadelphia Phillies starter Ben Lively’s day was officially done.
The date was April 26th, 2018, and to date it marks the last time that Lively started a big league game. That will change this evening, however, as Lively has not just returned to the Cincinnati Reds - the team that originally drafted him in the 4th round of the 2013 MLB Draft - but returned to their beleaguered starting rotation.
What will greet him is the lineup of the New York Yankees, who feature a former certain American League MVP who’s been doing this lately:
Aaron Judge is hitting .349/.463/.861 over his last 12 games with 6 HR over his last 6 games. So, uh, good luck tonight, Ben Lively.— Joel Luckhaupt (@jluckhaupt) May 19, 2023
That’s the kind of tidbit from our former fearless leader that is a) terrifying and b) likely worthy of ken saying it’s a ‘great tweet.’ We’ll also get to witness the return of longtime former foe Anthony Rizzo, who’ll be back standing on top of the plate all evening as New York’s 1B.
The Reds, of course, are fresh off blowing a couple of games at Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies, dropping 2 of 3 in the series with both losses coming after holding early leads. The Yankees, however, are fresh of taking 3 of 4 in a contentious series in Toronto and have taken 5 of 7 overall against top-tier competitors like the Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays.
The Reds offense will be tasked with tackling the offerings of Clarke Schmidt, who Tampa touched up for 7 ER in 4.2 IP in his last outing.
First pitch is set for 6:40 PM ET.