There was a time - a long time, frankly - where the preview for a game in which Joey Votto was both a) active and b) not playing would lead with that note, giving all seven of the active fans of the Cincinnati Reds the news that the game to be played that evening would lake most all of its intrigue.
Joey Votto is sitting to start this one, what with a lefty on the mound for the Baltimore Orioles and his right foot probably still ouching from that foul ball he nailed it with yesterday. These days, though, that’s not nearly enough to turn you away from the red-hot Reds lineup.
Elly De La Cruz is smack dab in the middle of it, and will be there having taken home the first National League Player of the Week Award of his career earlier today.
*acts surprised*— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 26, 2023
Elly De La Cruz has been named the NL Player of the Week! ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/PRZTqJbpDa
Congrats to Elly both on the award and on the vicious cycle that propelled him to it.
Anyway, the Reds will take on a smokin’ good Baltimore team that, in many ways, is built exactly the way these Reds are. They came through a dastardly rebuild, boast a bevy of incredibly talented youngsters offensively, and lightly employ a couple of folks who can occasionally throw a ball over the plate for a strike. Baltimore and Cincinnati rank 25th and 26th, respectively, in collective starting pitching fWAR so far this year, for instance.
Cole Irvin and Brandon Williamson will share the mound to start this one, both lefties who have largely struggled to find it for the bulk of their 2023 campaigns. Baltimore’s a pretty hitter-friendly park, too, so you might want to sneak down into the LF bleachers if you’re in Camden Yards tonight.
First pitch is set for 7:05 PM ET.