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Reds look to make Washington Nationals look like Washington Generals

Go Reds!

Harlem Globetrotters “Remember the Spectrum” Rooftop Game Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

The series in Chicago was the worst. The absolute worst. Riding high, 1st place, hope and excitement as the trade deadline rolled around, and then the floor completely caved in.

How well the Cincinnati Reds finish this surprise of a season will come down to two intertwined concepts: 1) how quickly they can flush those awful memories, and 2) how well they can hold on for dear life until what pitching they do have gets healthy at the end of the month. Fortunately, the latter at least comes with a built-in pillow in that 11 of the team’s next 14 games come at home in Great American Ball Park.

First up among those: the Washington Nationals, who just dealt Jeimer Candelario to the Cubs in a trade deadline sell-off. The Nats are buried in the NL East standings, 17 games under .500, and clearly biding time in waiting for better future performance, so hopefully this is the perfect ‘get right’ opportunity for Cincinnati.

The Reds will turn to Graham Ashcraft, who has been positively brilliant over his last 6 GS after things turned sour for him in May and June. That recent run of form has seen him clear 36.0 IP of 1.75 ERA ball, in which time he’s allowed just 3 homers and rolled up an impressive 9 groundball double plays.

Washington, meanwhile, will once again ask Patrick Corbin to chuck some meatballs over the plate, something the lefty has done with aplomb for quite some time now. He’s the owner of a 5.66 ERA over his last 7 GS (and a 5.07 ERA overall this season), and he’s yielded 21 homers on the season so far. Right-handed hitters have clubbed him to the tune of an .850 OPS (and have socked 19 of those homers this year), and the Reds collective .333 wOBA against LHP this year is tied for the 8th best in all of baseball.

Lay it on ‘em tonight, Redlegs. First pitch is set for 6:40 PM ET.

Reds Lineups

Nationals Lineups