The Reds (74-67) and the Cardinals (71-68) meet for a crucial series this weekend at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The Cardinals are just two games behind the Reds in the wild card race. The Reds are just one game behind the Padres for that second wild card spot. Buckle up, it’s about to get crazy. The Cardinals are 5-5 in their last 10 games, which isn’t anything special down the stretch, but it is better than the Reds’ 3-7 record in their last 10 games.
First pitch is at 8:15 ET. You can watch on Bally Sports Ohio or listen on 700 WLW.
Right-hander Tyler Mahle didn’t get a quality start on Saturday against the Tigers, giving up four runs in five innings and striking out eight, but he earned the win as the offense gave him ample run support. The last time Mahle faced the Cardinals, it was at GABP in July. Mahle pitched five innings, giving up two runs on five hits with four walks and five strikeouts in a Reds victory.
Mahle continues to be dominate on the road with a 1.90 ERA in 85.1 innings. Combine that with his 3.18 ERA in 17.0 innings against St. Louis this year, and the Redlegs might be looking good tonight. However, despite Mahle’s road dominance, individual Cardinals’ batters have hit Mahle well. He’s given up four home runs to St. Louis batters in 2021, second-most among all teams he’s faced. Three players have two home runs each against him. Paul Goldschmidt only has one home run off Mahle, but owns a .400 average against him in 20 at-bats.
Can the Reds figure out Jon Lester this time around? On August 30, he pitched 6.1 innings of one hit, one run baseball with two walks and five strikeouts at GABP. The lone run was courtesy of a Kyle Farmer solo home run. This start was rather unusual for Lester in 2021, as he has an ERA close to 5.00 with the Nationals and the Cardinals, but he figured something out with his pitches that day. Either that, or as we all know, the Reds just struggle to hit left-handed pitching.
In 2021, Lester ranks among the bottom three percent of the league in K%, with just 51 strikeouts in 75.1 innings. He has struggled to strike batters out this season; however, in the last couple of weeks, Lester has since found new life. He’s still not striking out a lot of batters, but he has only given up a total of three runs in each of his last three starts.
St. Louis Cardinals
|2B Jonathan India||2B Tommy Edman|
|C Tyler Stephenson||1B Paul Goldschmidt|
|RF Nick Castellanos||LF Tyler O’Neill|
|1B Joey Votto||3B Nolan Arenado|
|3B Eugenio Suárez||C Yadier Molina|
|LF Aristides Aquino||RF Dylan Carlson|
|SS Jose Barrero||SS Paul DeJong|
|CF Delino Deshields||CF Harrison Bader|
|P Tyler Mahle||P Jon Lester|
Eugenio Suárez hits .405 against Lester with five home runs and 11 RBI in 37 at-bats.
News and Notes
Jesse Winker hit today, but he’s not ready yet. My guess is that he’s still at least a week away.
David Bell said Jesse Winker hit on the field today. If he recovers well tomorrow, he could begin a rehab assignment shortly afterward. "A big step today," Bell said. #Reds
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) September 10, 2021
A very happy birthday goes out to everyone’s favorite Canadian. He should hit a home run as a birthday gift to himself.
Future Hall of Famer Joey Votto turns 38 years young today! ?
Happy birthday, King. ? pic.twitter.com/5HG0kTXeXc
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) September 10, 2021
I tweeted this on August 30th. Obviously, the Reds have continued to slide a little over the last two weeks, but they are in a much better position this season as compared to a year ago.
For those ready to declare the season over because the Reds have lost three in a row at the end of August, let me remind you of the 2020 season.
The Reds were 4 games under .500 on Sept 10. They won 12 of their last 16 games to make the playoffs.
— Ashley Davis (@AshleyDavis32) August 31, 2021
Coincidentally, it was a series against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium a year ago on this same weekend that started the Reds’ playoff push in 2020. Hopefully in two weeks, we will be talking about a similar type of winning streak for our favorite baseball team.