Well, it’s October and the Reds (67-94) are still playing baseball! After another frustrating season for the ol’ Redlegs, game 162 is here. Even in another 90-loss year, it’s always a little sad when the baseball season comes to an end. And while it’s been a frustrating campaign at times, there have certainly been some memorable moments and more than a few reasons to be encouraged for the future. Of course, getting to watch Joey Votto every day makes even the worst season a bit more tolerable. At 3:25 p.m. ET, we’ll get to watch Votto and Co. one final time until the gates to Great American Ball Park open again on March 29, 2018.
The Reds have lost 10 of their last 11 games coming into Sunday’s season finale against the Cubs (92-69). They’re currently lined up to receive the No. 5 pick in next year’s draft, but they could move up to No. 4 today with a loss or a White Sox win.
A month ago, Deck McGuire was pitching in the Southern League playoffs for the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Now, he’s starting the final game of the season for the Cincinnati Reds. He moved into the rotation earlier this week when Rookie Davis was shut down with a hip injury. McGuire’s first career big-league start didn’t go well, as he was knocked around for six runs (four earned) on six hits in three innings against the Brewers on Tuesday. A good outing today would give the Reds something to think about as they decide whether to keep McGuire on the 40-man roster this offseason.
McGuire vs. Cubs
Today will be McGuire’s first appearance against any Cubs hitter.
Jake Arrieta was originally scheduled to start today’s regular season finale for the Cubs, but he was scratched with a hamstring injury. Swingman Mike Montgomery will make the start for Chicago instead. The left-hander has been a valuable part of the Cubs’ pitching staff this season, splitting his time between the bullpen and the starting rotation, with 13 starts and 30 appearances in relief. He’s not an overpowering pitcher by any means — he has a low strikeout rate and a high walk rate — but he generates a lot of ground balls (57.7 GB%, seventh among all pitchers with 100+ IP), which has helped him limit damage.
Montgomery vs. Reds
|CF Billy Hamilton (67 wRC+)||1B Anthony Rizzo (134 wRC+)|
|SS Zack Cozart (143 wRC+)||3B Kris Bryant (147 wRC+)|
|1B Joey Votto (164 wRC+)||CF Jon Jay (102 wRC+)|
|LF Adam Duvall (97 wRC+)||LF Ben Zobrist (83 wRC+)|
|3B Eugenio Suarez (117 wRC+)||SS Addison Russell (87 wRC+)|
|2B Scooter Gennett (125 wRC+)||C Alex Avila (108 wRC+)|
|RF Phillip Ervin (104 wRC+)||RF Jason Heyward (88 wRC+)|
|C Tucker Barnhart (91 wRC+)||2B Javier Baez (98 wRC+)|
|P Deck McGuire (4.99 xFIP)||P Mike Montgomery (4.38 xFIP)|
— Votto is officially the first Reds player since Pete Rose in 1975 to start all 162 games for the Reds. Iron man.
— Minus Scott Schebler, the regular starters are in there for the last game of the year.
News, Notes, & Pre-Game Reading
Stat of the Day
Only one stat matters now: 179 days until Opening Day 2018.
Thank you to all the loyal Redleg Nation readers for hanging out with us once again this season, and stay tuned during the offseason for some more great content on our favorite baseball team. Go Reds!