After trading blowouts in the last two games of three against the Diamondbacks, the Reds (55-72) head to Anaheim to play the similarly miserable Angels (56-74). Both teams hope for a sweep to preserve a) some form of dignity and b) get three steps closer to avoiding the horribly humiliating 100-loss milestone.

Starting Pitchers

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Dan Straily has quietly put together four straight winning starts for the Reds, his last start in the streak lasting 6.0 shutout innings. The right-hander hasn’t lost a start since before the All Star break due in large part to his recent uptick in control. Since his last loss, Straily has only walked eight batters and allowed seven home runs across eight starts and 194 batters faced.

Matt Shoemaker hasn’t had the same luck as Straily of late–splitting his last four starts 2-2–but in other regards the big Angels righty has outpitched his Reds counterpart. Shoemaker has gone at least 6.0 innings in each of his last eight starts; he’s only given up four home runs in that time; and he has only walked eight batters. Yet, he hasn’t been able to strike batters out or scatter hits, leading to a mediocre 3-4 record in that span.

Starting Lineups

Reds Angels
1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Brandon Phillips (2B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Eugenio Suarez (DH)
8. Ivan De Jesus (3B)
9. Ramon Cabrera (C)
1. Kole Calhoun (RF)
2. Mike Trout (CF)
3. Albert Pujols (DH)
4. C.J. Cron (1B)
5. Andrelton Simmons (SS)
6. Jefry Marte (3B)
7. Rafael Ortega (LF)
8. Jett Bandy (C)
9. Kaleb Cowart (2B)

Bailey’s Bicep

Following yesterday’s rout, it was reported that Reds’ starting pitcher Homer Bailey has been dealing with right bicep soreness, otherwise known as bad news for a pitcher coming off of a year of rehab. Granted, this ailment could be entirely normal–I don’t claim to know much about sports medicine. But the presence of an ailment at all is enough for me to be jittery about the Reds’ prospects for 2016 and beyond.

Mini Heart Attack

Unrelated to anyone’s life but my own, but through moving and planning and general busyness, I forgot that both Tony Renda and Cody Reed had been sent down to the Louisville Bats. Thus, these tweets:

Gave me a mini heart attack when I thought I had missed my deadline on the game thread. Thanks Jason, keep up the good work.

Concluding Thoughts

I wonder if Joey Votto and Mike Trout have a fan club for superstar-level players stuck on average (or below average) teams. I sure hope so. Joey needs someone to commiserate with.

Go Reds!