The Cincinnati Reds (56-62) will try to avoid a three game sweep to the Washington Nationals (64-55) and snap a three game losing streak in the process. First pitch is set for 4:05 ET.

The Reds have now lost seven of their last nine games at Nationals Park going back to 2017. Yes, it’s been a house of horrors for them, but the Reds also haven’t been able to beat the Nationals at all, as they are now 3-15 against the Nats since 2017.

Starting Pitchers

Trevor Bauer 168.1 3.74 4.11 4.28 28.0% 9.5%
Stephen Strasburg 152.1 3.72 3.28 3.28 29.2% 6.1%


When the Reds acquired Trevor Bauer, his performance against the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park last week was the reason why. He was absolutely dominant, pitching seven innings of one run baseball, while striking out 11 and walking only two. The lone run came on a Nicholas Castellanos lead-off home run, his only real mistake of the game.

Bauer isn’t having the kind of season he had last year, and you can point to two factors as the reason for that: walks and home runs (I know I sound like a broken record on these game previews talking about walks and home runs with the starting pitchers, but if you look at the stats, it really is one of the keys to being a good pitcher, unless you’re Justin Verlander). Bauer’s BB% is the highest it’s been since 2015, when he had a BB% of 10.6%. He’s also given up 23 home runs already, more than double the nine home runs he gave up during 2018. He’s on pace to set a career high in that category, breaking his record of 25 home runs allowed in 175.1 innings in 2017.

Bauer does, however, still have a high strikeout rate and has reached 200 strikeouts for the second consecutive season. Of course, when you have sliders like the one shown below, that’s going to happen.

Bauer has faced only a few Nationals players from their time in the AL. Two of the three have homered off him.


Stephen Strasburg is having a good season that no one is talking about. He’s got an ERA of 3.72, and he has a FIP and xFIP of 3.28. When your FIP is lower than your ERA, you know you’re having an excellent season. Strasburg did almost the same exact thing last season, finishing with a 3.74 ERA/3.62 FIP, but in only 130.0 innings due to injury. This season, he’s been healthy and able to already pitch 152.1 innings. He won’t reach 200 innings, but he has been a player to count on in the Nationals starting rotation in 2019. With 181 strikeouts already, he’ll likely reach 200 strikeouts for the third time in his career.

Strasburg has five pitches, but very rarely throws his slider. He usually will use his curve ball and four seamer interchangeably. He doesn’t throw the sinker and change up as much, but still relies on them about 20 percent of the time. His four seamer has topped out at 93.7 mph this year, while his curve ball is at 80.9 mph. His good pitch mix and variation of speeds in the pitches he throws helps him stay successful.

Strasburg hasn’t faced the Reds this season, but did give up only one earned run on eight hits with seven strikeouts in 6.1 innings the last time he faced them during the opening series of 2018. There are a couple of Reds who hit him well, namely one Joey Votto.

Random Fact of the Day

Stephen Strasburg and I share a birthday, though he is two years older than me.



The Reds, playing short-handed in the bullpen with Amir Garrett serving his suspension this week, don’t look too bad from this perspective. They’ve gotten two innings each from Kevin Gausman, Jared Hughes, and Lucas Sims. The only reliever to give up any runs was Hughes on Monday, and he allowed only one run.


The Nationals are also looking good when it comes to their bullpen for the final game of the series. Their starters both pitched into the seventh (still trying to figure out how, Reds) and they did not use any reliever two days in a row.


1. Jesse Winker (CF)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Josh VanMeter (LF)
5. Aristides Aquino (RF)
6. Freddy Galvis (2B)
7. Jose Iglesias (SS)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Trevor Bauer (P)
1. Trea Turner (SS)
2. Adam Eaton (RF)
3. Anthony Rendon (3B)
4. Juan Soto (LF)
5. Matt Adams (1B)
6. Asdrubal Cabrera (2B)
7. Kurt Suzuki (C)
8. Victor Robles (CF)
9. Stephen Strasburg (P)

News and Notes

-Tyler Stephenson is absoluely raking at Double-A right now.

-Congratulations to our friend Yasiel Puig for becoming an American citizen!

-New Redleg Nation podcast, with Chris Welsh!

Pre-game Reading

-Lots of good stories out there on the internet today. Here’s some of them:

-Finally, if you are an Athletic subscriber, this one is worth your time.