As the regular season counts down, Reds fans are also counting down the final days of Marty Brennaman’s legendary radio play-by-play career. You may remember that his long-time partner, Joe Nuxhall, had a somewhat rocky end to his broadcasting career. Here is an excerpt from an article I authored on the subject in 2004:

I am led to believe by people who know Joe Nuxhall that he has a burning passion for his work and for the Cincinnati Reds. Hearing the thrill in his voice when calling a game-winning hit on Reds radio only confirms that belief. If there is a Mr. Cincinnati Reds, other than perhaps Pete Rose, it’s Nuxhall, who has spent 60 years with the organization as a player and a radio announcer.

I’m also told he is a stubborn and proud man, which he has every right to be. He’s someone whose professional life has been devoted to the Cincinnati Reds. It is no surprise that he was deeply hurt when someone in the Reds organization told him that it is time to retire.

It’s fair to say that I was raised in part by Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall. As a young man, I went eight years without missing a single Reds game in person, on television, but mostly on the radio. I bleed Cincinnati Red, just like Marty and Joe. And as a former student of radio broadcasting, I appreciate the unique talents that both men bring to their calls of the games.

After 30 years of listening to Joe Nuxhall, it became painfully apparent in the past couple of years that he has seriously struggled at times. There have been times that he forgets the name of the person he is interviewing. This year, there has been more than one occasion when Joe has been unable to come up with a name or the proper words to call a play and you can hear him express disgust with himself. But proud people recover and keep doing their jobs.

It is too harsh for the Reds management to ask Joe to completely step out of the booth. This year’s arrangement of Joe calling about half of the games seems to have worked well. Some of his best calls in recent years have been this season, perhaps because at age 76 he no longer has to make all of the grueling road trips. By cutting back his work load, the Reds have done him a favor, whether he and the fans realize it or not.

Someone in the Reds organization, whose identity has not been made public, had the heartbreaking task of deciding that the time had arrived. And despite the protests of Joe and most of the fans, that person was right. Hopefully, further details will stay within the Reds family, where they belong.

Brennaman, on the other hand, retired before he reached the point where his natural gifts had reached diminution. He will have a glorious, if not win-filled, final few days in the booth.

Today’s game two of the three-game series pitting the Reds against the Mets at Great American Ball Park begins at 4:10 p.m. Eastern time.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Zack Wheeler 180.1 4.09 4.06 23.3% 6.4%
Anthony DeSclafani 155.2 3.93 4.37 23.9% 7.3%

Since the All-Star break, DeSclafani has shown he belongs in this very strong pitching rotation. Opponents are hitting only .195 against him, and his WHIP is 1.01. The only flaw in his statistics is the 11 home runs allowed in 69 innings. If you started 2020 with “Disco” as your fourth starter, you’d feel very comfortable about your starting rotation. Wheeler has been in top form his last four starts, allowing only four runs over 25 innings.

Bullpen

Only Sal Romano and Keury Mella pitched Friday night, so everyone else should be ready to go today.

Starting Lineups

Mets Reds
CF Brandon Nimmo LF Phil Ervin
LF Jeff McNeil 1B Joey Votto
1B Pete Alonso 3B Eugenio Suarez
2B Robinson Cano RF Aristides Aquino
C Wilson Ramos C Tucker Barnhart
RF Michael Conforto SS Jose Iglesias
3B Todd Frazier CF Brian O’Grady
SS Amed Rosario 2B Derek Dietrich
P Zack Wheeler P Anthony DeSclafani

Frazier returns to GABP where he has a career slash line of .267/.330/.496 but faces DeSclafani for the first time. Meanwhile, the man who replaced him on the Reds hot corner, Suarez, is still chasing Alonso for the most homers in MLB. Geno is 1-for-5 in his career against Wheeler.

Additional insights into the statistical history of the players in today’s game is available all season long at BaseballSavant.com.

News and Notes

Everyone on the Cincinnati Reds are sick. Or, well, a lot of them at least.

Josh VanMeter was originally in the lineup, but was scratched for Phillip Ervin.

For those of you outside of the Cincinnati market, today’s game is available for free as the Free Game of the Day on MLB.tv.

Shout-out to Doug Gray: All regulars here at Redleg Nation should take just a moment to thank this website’s owner for the time and dedication he puts into this discussion forum. He creates content every day, sometimes multiple articles, along with managing all of the technical aspects. His day-in, day-out dedication to this team and creating a place for diehard fans like you and me to gather and share our thrills and disappointments goes beyond what most of us even begin to imagine. He’s done a terrific job in his first year in this role.

21 Responses

  1. Sliotar

    Yes, shout out to Doug.

    Not just the work, but the interest in engaging (disagreeing on occasion, even) with all of us who visit here regularly.

    The real countdown is …. will the Reds achieve Mission Accomplished…Win Number 73, today?

  2. Chris Holbert

    I have to admit I have been clamoring for regular lineup positions, but I was not thinking Barnhart 5 and J Iggy 6…

  3. VaRedsFan

    Thanks to you also Tom. I enjoy your pregame writeups as well as all of the other pre and post game threads.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Thank you for the kind words, VaRedsFan!

  4. VaRedsFan

    Reds dent the plate twice and it somehow feel like they left a few out there. Bases loaded and no outs, and Tucker whiffs on 3. O’Grady with an infield pop with 1 out.

    • VaRedsFan

      There were 2 Frazier defensive gifts however, so maybe they got more than they should have.

  5. VaRedsFan

    Lapse in judgement by Tucker. 2 men within 5 feet of each other at 3rd. Tucker needed to fire to 2nd for an easy out. He held the ball.

  6. Curt

    Offseason priority = Top grade outfielder (CF). We’re killing infielders out there.

  7. VaRedsFan

    Tucker should donate his salary from this game to charity.

  8. DocProc

    Lifting Disco for a pinch hitter with two outs and nobody on is just stupid. Disco was at only 85 pitches and in a groove. Now he has no chance to get his 10th win, which he deserved with better defensive support.
    Oh, and Blandino struck out as PH on 3 pitches.
    Bell owed Disco a longer leash in this game.

    • Wayne nabors

      Bell cain’t wait to get to his high falutin bullpen

  9. Frogem

    The more I watch Peraza, the more I doubt his baseball smarts. The recent out at the plate is just one more example. On that last slide at home, shouldn’t he have dived head first, allowing the chance to dodge the tag by using his arm(s) to tag the plate around the tag?

    • Mark Moore

      He looked lost, but Long sent him. Todd got a lucky bounce. I agree he didn’t give himself a chance with that slide.

    • VaRedsFan

      He always slides feet 1st, and lets the pins fall as the may. No desire to do whatever it takes to avoid being tagged.

  10. Don

    great. gutsy win to take this game from a desperate team on the edges of contention.

    Listening to the Mets TV broadcast give a different perspective for the game that the Reds broadcast

    Playing short handed due to Flu bug was a surprise.

    Disco great pitching and BP held the Mets coreles for 3.

    Iglesias dominated the 9th for the save.

    No 90 losses this year.

    Hopefuly Bauer pitches will Sunday and the Reds end the Mets post season hopes on Sunday with a series win.

  11. VaRedsFan

    37 year old Molina delivers another late inning game changing hit today.

  12. Roger Garrett

    It has been a very interesting year.Still hard to say if they find a way to lose or if they find a way to win but it is neat to take 2 from the Cubs at 4-2 and 3-2 and now today 3-2 against the Mets while both are fighting for the playoffs.Even better when you bring up a guy who was at home because our injury list looks like the one for the Pro Bowl game and he singles in the winner.

  13. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I will agree with the statement on Doug Gray. I never believe he gets his just do.