It’s going to be an interesting weekend in St. Louis. After a rainout last night, the Reds (63-70) and Cardinals (73-59) will be playing double headers today AND tomorrow. You can’t sweep a series if you don’t win the first two games, right?

Speaking of two, today there will only be one game thread and one recap. Each one will cover both games. The recap will not be posted until after the second game is played.

Starting Pitchers (Game 2)

Sonny Gray (10-6, 2.92 ERA)

He’s currently in one of the best stretches of his career, and arguably having the best season of his career, too. His ERA sits at 2.92 on the year. But in the 11 starts since June 28th he’s posted a 1.70 ERA in 68.2 innings with 27 walks and 85 strikeouts. He has allowed just three runs in five August starts.

When looking at his splits he’s been very good against both lefties and righties. Right-handed hitters had a .209/.287/.329 against him. Left-handed hitters are hitting just .192/.282/.321 against him. His home and away splits are pretty much the same, too. On the road hitters have a .600 OPS against him, while at home it’s .621. As noted above, his second half run has been outstanding. Since being a National League All-Star his held hitters to a .162/.272/.292 line with a 1.82 ERA in 54.1 innings.

Michael Wacha (6-6, 5.24 ERA)

It hasn’t been a strong season for Michael Wacha in 2019. His ERA sits at 5.24 in 103.0 innings for the Cardinals. He’s got the highest walk rate of his career, and his second lowest strikeout rate of his career, too. But perhaps the biggest reason he’s struggling to keep runs off of the board this season is his home run rate. He’s given up 23 home runs this season. That makes him the 5th most home run prone pitcher with at least 100 innings this season in all of baseball (105 pitchers qualify for this).

When diving into his splits he’s got reverse ones when it comes to platoons. Right-handed hitters are lighting him up to the tune of .328/.387/.576 this season. Lefites are doing better when it comes to drawing walks and making contact, but it’s not playing out beyond that. They are hitting .242/.337/.431 against him on the year. His home/road splits don’t tell too much of a different story – his OPS against is .874 and .899 in that category. He has pitched better in the second half, though. His ERA is 4.39 in 7 games, but hitters are still finding success against him – hitting .306/.359/.472 when he’s been on the mound.

Starting Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

  1. Josh VanMeter – LF
  2. Joey Votto – 1B
  3. Eugenio Suarez – 3B
  4. Aristides Aquino – RF
  5. Nick Senzel – CF
  6. Jose Iglesias – SS
  7. Kyle Farmer – 2B
  8. Sonny Gray – SP
  9. Curt Casali – C

St. Louis Cardinals

  1. Dexter Fowlner – RF
  2. Kolten Wong – 2B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt – 1B
  4. Marcell Ozuna – LF
  5. Paul DeJong – SS
  6. Tommy Edman – 3B
  7. Matt Wieters – C
  8. Harrison Bader – CF
  9. Michael Wacha – SP

Pre-game Notes

Reds likely to recall Matt Bowman, Wandy Peralta Sunday


Sal Romano was recalled today to serve as the 26th-man on the roster for the double header.

Nick Senzel is sick. He will play in the second game today.

From Elias: The Cincinnati Reds last played double headers on back-to-back days was on September 10th and 11th in 1968 against Houston. The Reds lost game 1, but took the next 3 games.

They played a double header in on July 29th and July 31st of 1973 in San Diego and in Atlanta, but there was an off day between the two. Like the time before, the Reds lost game 1 and took the next 3 games.

Aristides Aquino didn’t homer yesterday. And they are playing two games today. He’s probably due for what, 10 home runs today?

Starting Pitchers (Game 1)

(clipped from the game thread from yesterday by Jeff)

Trevor Bauer (10-11, 4.34 ERA)

Bauer is set to face the Cardinals for just the second time in his career on Friday night. The last time he pitched against them was in 2015 early on in his second full season in the majors. He tossed 7.1 innings while holding the Cardinals to one run on four hits with 10 strikeouts.

Just three Cardinals who played in that game remain on this years team. Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter, and Kolten Wong are the only current St. Louis position players who faced Bauer that day. Carpenter managed an RBI-single for the one run scored on Bauer.

He will look to bounce back as two of his last three starts have been rather rough. If you combine his start against the Nationals with his start against the Pirates, he pitched 7.1 innings and allowed 16 earned runs. His other three starts in a Reds uniform combined for 18.2 innings of six-run ball. He also has 26 strikeouts in those three starts that aren’t horrible.

Dakota Hudson (13-6, 3.47)

Hudson has been on a really hot stretch lately. He has tossed three-straight scoreless starts, going at least six innings in each one, and striking out 13. His start last Monday (August 19) went 6.2 innings without a hit as the Cardinals blanked the Brewers.

In four games against the Reds, Hudson has pitched 19 innings and allowed just seven earned runs. One may say he’s a bit lucky, though, as the Reds have had 26 base runners (eight walks, 18 hits). Eugenio Suarez is the only Redleg to have homered off Hudson.

In his last start against the Reds (July 18) Hudson allowed three runs in five innings. He did allow that one home run to Suarez, but the Cardinals scored five runs in the sixth (off Robert Stephenson) that gave them a lead the Reds would not recover from.

Starting Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

  1. Josh VanMeter – LF
  2. Joey Votto – 1B
  3. Eugenio Suarez – 3B
  4. Aristides Aquino – RF
  5. Freddy Galvis – SS
  6. Tucker Barnhart – C
  7. Derek Dietrich – 2B
  8. Phillip Ervin – CF
  9. Trevor Bauer – SP

St. Louis Cardinals

  1. Dexter Fowler – CF
  2. Kolten Wong – 2B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt – 1B
  4. MArcell Ozuna – LF
  5. Paul DeJong – SS
  6. Yadier Molina – C
  7. Matt Carpenter – 3B
  8. Tommy Edman – RF
  9. Dakota Hudson – SP