The Cincinnati Reds season is over. But we all still plan to keep watching and talking about baseball, right? The playoffs are great. Playoff baseball is great. And well, we’re going to keep the daily game threads rolling for the entirety of the playoffs here at Redleg Nation even if the Reds are watching them from home like we are. Today begins the playoffs with the National League Wild Card game.

The Matchup

Milwaukee Brewers (89-73) vs. Washington Nationals (93-69)

The Washington Nationals finished in second place in the National League East and took the top spot in the wild card race. That earns them home field advantage in the 1-game “series” against the Brewers, who as you know, took second place in the National League Central.

Stat Comparison and Rankings

At least among the stats I happened to take a look at, the Washington Nationals were better than the Milwaukee Brewers in every single one of them. Some of them were closer than others, but they always came out ahead.

The Starting Pitching Matchup

With all due respect to Brandon Woodruff, the Nationals have a significant advantage here as they are sending out Max Scherzer. The last time that Scherzer didn’t finish in the top 5 of a Cy Young vote was in 2012. The last three years he’s finished in the top 3, including winning it in 2016 and 2017. This season he led the league in strikeouts per-9 innings and strikeout-to-walk ratio. He did miss some time, making 27 starts this season – the first time since he was a rookie in 2008 that he didn’t start at least 30 games. Scherzer posted a 2.92 ERA this season for the Nationals in 172.2 innings.

Brandon Woodruff had a quality season when he was on the mound. He only made 22 starts this season for Milwaukee and he made the All-Star team. The right-handed pitcher threw 121.2 innings with a 3.62 ERA, 30 walks, and 142 strikeouts on the season. But he has only made two starts since July 21st – both coming in September, and both only lasted 2.0 innings. As we saw last year with the Brewers in the playoffs, they may just go with a full-on bullpen kind of situation as far as they can make it in the playoffs.

The Starting Lineups

Milwaukee Brewers

  1. Trent Grisham – RF
  2. Yasmani Grandal – C
  3. Mike Moustakas – 3B
  4. Keston Hiura – 2B
  5. Ryan Braun – LF
  6. Eric Thames – 1B
  7. Lorenzo Cain – CF
  8. Orlando Arcia – SS
  9. Brandon Woodruff – SP

Washington Nationals

  1. Trea Turner – SS
  2. Adam Eaton – RF
  3. Anthony Rendon – 3B
  4. Juan Soto – LF
  5. Howie Kendrick – 1B
  6. Asdrubal Cabrera – 2B
  7. Kurt Suzuki – C
  8. Victor Robles – CF
  9. Max Scherzer – SP

Game Information

Start time: 8:08pm ET

Television/Radio: TBS | ESPN Radio

Big Time Reds Note

We’ll have more on this one later, and the story is still developing, but the Cincinnati Reds have hired Kyle Boddy of Driveline Baseball to be their director of initiatives/Pitching Coordinator. He will work almost exclusively in the minor leagues.

17 Responses

  1. Seat101

    I just can’t root for the Brewers as long as the steroid guy is still on the team

    I’m afraid they’re going to win handily though

  2. Sliotar

    Thanks for setting up the thread, Doug.

    (Of course we are all still watching….one of the saddest moments every year is the last out of the World Series.)

    Grandal already increasing his value, should he opt-out and become a free agent.

  3. MARK MOORE

    Just tuned in and saw Thames do what he does.

    • VaRedsFan

      He has a thing facing guys in red hats

  4. Sliotar

    First big decision for Martinez… pinch hit for Scherzer with Corbin and Strasburg out in bullpen.

    Already getting the Twitter treatment for choosing Scherzer over Strasburg.

    • VaRedsFan

      As well he should.
      Strasburg last 8 starts 1.76 ERA

  5. VaRedsFan

    Sometimes people look at seasonal stats and think a player has a clear advantage, instead of checking recent form.
    Scherzer’s last 5 starts: 5.16 ERA…6 HR’s allowed.

  6. Ed

    Moustakas here to possibly blow it open in the 5th… back-to-back Scherzer walks

  7. Sliotar

    Nationals running out of outs before #Craigtober takes over with Hader and fifteen other defensive shifts/changes to close things out.

  8. Seat101

    This had been a fast game. Get ready for it to slow down

  9. Ed

    Holy crap, I’m swept away in post-season bliss. What a fantastic, electric 8th inning for the Nats! Strasburg was on fire too

  10. Sliotar

    “You Can’t Script October” … wasn’t that a MLB marketing campaign?

    Brewers had the script exactly as they wanted …. Hader could not close the deal.

  11. Indy Red Man

    Hoping I’d get a shot at Nats>LA. They have Corbin for Game 1 and I think their bats will really light up LA pitching. They finally came thru in the clutch as an organization and I think they’ll be an excellent value as a dog in this series. Probably +180 atleast

  12. Ed

    Woah man so beautiful. Soto getting tackled by his dad after the game- so priceless. His kid brother there too! Psyched for the series in LA

  13. Colt Holt

    Not to get ahead of things, but I can actually see Cincinnati as a positive destination choice for pitchers looking forward. After a successful season in 2019 with the new pitching coach, and the addition of Kyle Boddy, Cincinnati could become where you go to take your game to the next level. What a change a year can make…

  14. TR

    A captivating game, certainly at the end.