The Cincinnati Reds (39-49) are fresh off the all-star break, and will kick off the second half by hosting a four game series against the first place Washington Nationals (52-36). The Nationals cruised through the first half of the season with a 9.5 game lead in the NL East. The Nationals boast one of the best lineups and rotations in baseball. Their biggest struggle has been their bullpen and defense.
|OBP||.327 (14th)||.345 (2nd)|
|SLG||.451 (3rd)||.467 (2nd)|
|wRC+||100 (9th)||108 (4th)|
|DRS||41 (1st)||-23 (26th)|
|SP ERA||5.91 (30th)||3.71 (3rd)|
|SP FIP||5.94 (30th)||3.79 (3rd)|
|RP ERA||3.97 (10th)||5.20 (30th)|
|RP FIP||4.33 (20th)||4.90 (29th)|
Gio Gonzalez has a career 2.98 ERA in 8 starts against the Reds. However, the Reds hit him hard last year, scoring 9 runs off 15 hits in just 12.0 innings. Votto has 3 homers in 18 AB against Gio, which is pretty incredible for Votto against a quality LHP.
Tim Adleman has been giving up a lot of home runs lately (6 over his last 3 starts). That doesn’t seem good against the Nationals lineup. Adleman also has pitched exactly 5.0 innings over his last four starts. Tonight will be the first time Adleman has ever faded any hitter on the Nationals roster.
|1. Brian Goodwin (CF)
2. Wilmer Difo (SS)
3. Bryce Harper (RF)
4. Ryan Zimmerman (1B)
5. Stephen Drew (2B)
6. Anthony Rendon (3B)
7. Matt Wieters (C)
8. Chris Heisey (LF)
9. Gio Gonzalez (P)
|1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Zack Cozart (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Jose Peraza (2B)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Tim Adleman (P)
The big bad Washington Nationals lineup is missing a few bats tonight. It sounds like Daniel Murphy is just getting an extra day of rest after playing in the All-Star Game. You can expect Bryce Harper to get a day off this weekend too. Jayson Werth is still on a rehab assignment. Trea Turner is out for quite a while with a fractured wrist. Our good friend Chris Heisey is back in the lineup at GABP tonight! Dusty Baker hasn’t changed, as he has his worst hitter batting second because he plays SS.
Here is the Reds rotation to star the second half (Tuesday the Reds start a series at GABP against the Diamondbacks):
Friday: Tim Adleman
Saturday: Luis Castillo
Sunday: Homer Bailey
Monday: Scott Feldman
Tuesday: Sal Romano
Zack Cozart laces a single in his first career All-Star Game.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 12, 2017
The Reds finally broke the long hitless streak at the All-Star Game when Zack Cozart ripped a first pitch base hit (Reds hitters were 0 for their previous 25). Joey Votto kept the NL alive by walking with 2 outs in the 11th inning, so it was a good night for the Reds. Votto also traded a bunch of his signed all-star gear with a fan so Cozart could get the ball he hit. Votto seems like a pretty good teammate, eh?
If you subscribe to the theory that Brewers aren’t that good and will come back down to earth in the second half, here is one thing to consider. The Reds simply need to play just one game better than the Chicago Cubs up until the last series on the season (The Reds are currently 4.0 games behind the Cubs). The Reds finish the 2017 season with a 3-game series at Wrigley Field, so any deficit of less than 3 games heading into the final series of the year would keep the Reds alive.
Pipe dream? Sure, but why not dream a little? Go Reds!
Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.