Starting tonight, the Cincinnati Reds (31-34, 4th place) will play 16 of their next 19 games on the road. The Reds look gain ground on the division leading Milwaukee Brewers (40-27) in a three game series.
Jason explains in his excellent series preview, that this Brewers team is a bit of a mirage. The Reds won 3 out of 4 games in their early May series against the Brewers, outscoring Milwaukee 18-10. Also, it appears that the pitching matchups are a bit in the Reds favor.
To kick the series off, the Reds have Homer Bailey taking the ball. Bailey has had quality starts in 7 of his last 8 outings, including 4 straight. Earlier this season against Milwaukee, Bailey allowed 3 runs over 8 innings.
Matt Garza is coming off a win in Pittsburgh, despite a shaky outing where he walked five batters and only struck out one over six innings. Garza hasn’t faced the Reds yet this season. In two starts last year, he allowed 13 runs over nine innings. Jay Bruce and Joey Votto are a combined lifetime 11-for-32 against Garza.
Billy Hamilton is back in centerfield and leading off. Brandon Phillips finger is good enough to play. Skip Schumaker (6-12 lifetime against Garza) is getting the start in left field.
1. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
2. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
4. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
5. Jay Bruce (L) RF
6. Devin Mesoraco (R) C
7. Skip Schumaker (L) LF
8. Zack Cozart (R) SS
9. Homer Bailey (R) P
Today’s superstitious triple play could be a turning point in the Reds season. It will hopefully mark the last time the Reds find themselves this far out of first place, and keep them on the road to winning baseball.