There’s no denying it: the Milwaukee Brewers have beaten up the Cincinnati Reds so far this season. They’re 8-2 against their direct division rivals, and that’s what’s keeping the Reds from 1st place in the National League Central at the moment.
The Reds, though, are riding a 5-game win streak since being swept by the Brewers just last week, and tonight begins their final chance to begin to rectify the situation during this 2023 regular season.
Graham Ashcraft will toe the rubber on a heater having gone at least 6.0 IP in each of his last 4 starts. He has allowed just 5 ER across 24.2 IP in that span (1.82 ERA) and his proclivity for rolling up grounders in that time has returned. That’s an interesting subplot for tonight’s start, by the way, considering Jonathan India - the regular 2B who both a) is despised by most defensive metrics and b) has seen his name pop up in trade rumors - is out of the lineup. Perhaps the Reds are giving him a break to get the best defensive lineup on the field, or perhaps they’re letting him clear his head after finding his name smack dab on the rumor mill all day.
Regardless, the Reds will look to get to Colin Rea, Milwaukee’s starter for the evening. He’s surrendered 8 ER in just 9.2 IP across 2 starts against the Reds so far this season, with the Reds popping a trio of homers off him in that time. That’s the goal again this evening, of course.
There’s also the subplot that this could be Joey Votto’s final trip through Milwaukee as a member of the Reds. He has homered 24 times in Milwaukee’s ballpark in his career, tied for the most in any road park with Wrigley. Wouldn’t it be nice if he made it 25, 26, 34 in this series?
First pitch is set for 8:10 PM ET. Go Reds.