The Cincinnati Reds dropped 19 runs on the St. Louis Cardinals last night, so the absence of Joey Votto from the lineup for a second straight day mattered not in the grand scheme. Nick Martini picked up for him by socking an early 3-run homer, and the Reds simply boat-raced the Birds from there on.
Tonight, it’s lefty Drew Rom on the mound for St. Louis, and it’s understandable that Reds manager David Bell would have Votto on the sidelines for that scenario, too - in a vacuum. That it’s now the third straight game with Votto not in the starting lineup and the second to last day in which he’s under guaranteed contract with the franchise that drafted him over 20 years ago, though, makes you begin to wonder just what the hell is really going on in that Cincinnati dugout.
Anyway, the Reds still need to win and hope like hell that the Miami Marlins fall by the wayside today, something the Fish have rarely done lately in their surge towards the final National League Wild Card spot. The Reds sit a game and a half back of Miami, and anything other than the Reds winning and Marlins losing basically throws this season-long effort into the dirty laundry pile.
Starting for Cincinnati tonight will be electric rookie Connor Phillips, the most recently electric rookie of cadre of electric Reds rookies we’ve had the pleasure of covering so far in 2023. He’s been better of late - 5 ER across 12.0 IP in his last 2 GS, with an impressive 16/4 K/BB - and the Reds will surely be banking on him providing that kind of dominance as they hope for a Saturday miracle.
First pitch is set for 7:15 PM ET. Go Reds!