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Reds begin make or break western road trip with stop in Los Angeles to face the Angels

What can they muster against Ohtani and Trout?

Washington Nationals v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Emilee Chinn/Cincinnati Reds/Getty Images

I was out of pocket for most of the weekend and watched zero of the homers surrendered by Hunter Greene on Sunday live. I watched them later, sadly, but by then I was well aware of the further stumbles at home by the Cincinnati Reds as they wrapped yet another disappointing homestand.

That’s not what faces them next, however. This time, they’ve got 10 straight games on the road against western opponents, with the Los Angeles Angels and their pair of superstars next up on the list. I say pair becuase it is expected that Mike Trout, who has been sidelined since early July with a hamate fracture and surgery, will be activated at some point this series. There’s even talk of him being ready to roll this evening, something that surely Reds starter Graham Ashcraft has researched with aplomb.

The Cincinnati workhorse has fired at least 7.0 IP in each of his trio of August starts, and he’s the owner of a tidy 2.17 ERA in 9 starts dating back to the 30th of June. In fact, since that date only 3 pitchers in all of Major League Baseball have chewed up more than the 58.0 IP that Ashcraft has chomped, with familiar friend Luis Castillo (63.0 IP) the leader of that bunch. The 2.17 ERA sported by Graham in that span is the 6th lowest in all of baseball among qualified pitchers, too, so it hasn’t just been quantity, it’s been quality.

Deadline acquisition Lucas Giolito will get the start for the Angels in their desperate attempt to get back into the AL Wild Card race, and the Reds will have the opportunity to tee-off on a pitcher they could have pursued, too. Surely that will make for some rational takes around the Reds social media universe regardless of the outcome.

In roster news, Stuart Fairchild was placed on the 7-day concussion IL and Henry Ramos was designated for assignment. The Reds recalled Mike Siani and selected the contract of Nick Martini to fill those voids on the roster, further indicating just how far down the depth chart both Jose Barrero and Nick Senzel have fallen. Also, do your best to forget about the high-leverage PA given to Ramos over the weekend for your own personal sanity.

There’s so, so much about how this team operates anymore that I just fail to comprehend.

First pitch is set for 9:38 PM ET tonight, so put on a pot of coffee.

Reds Lineup

Angels Lineup

It hasn’t yet been posted, however we do know this: