Depending on exactly how old you are you may or may not have some very difficult feelings about the matchup tonight in the National League Wild Card game. If you formed your loyalty to the Cincinnati Reds when they were still a part of the NL West, then you may still hold some very strong feelings for the Dodgers. If you became a fan of the Reds after the divisions were realigned and the Brewers were still in the American League, then perhaps your feelings for the Dodgers are a bit different. Tonight will see Los Angeles host the St. Louis Cardinals in a win-or-go-home game.

The Pitching Matchup

Two of the best pitchers in the league face off as Max Scherzer and Adam Wainwright take the mound for their respective teams.

A midseason addition, Max Scherzer has been dominant in his 11 starts since joining the Dodgers. He has gone 7-0 with a 1.98 ERA in 68.1 innings while walking just 8 batters and striking out 89. With the Nationals in the first half of the year he posted a 2.76 ERA in 19 starts. In six starts at Dodger Stadium this year, Scherzer has 3 walks and 45 strikeouts in 37.1 innings and a 2.17 ERA. In two starts against the Cardinals this season he has been charged with 1 unearned run and struck out 22 batters with just 1 walk and 10 hits in 14.0 innings. One of those starts was in April and the other one was in September.

Adam Wainwright went 17-7 this year with a 3.05 ERA while throwing 206.1 innings for the Cardinals. Lefties have had a little more success against him this season, hitting .229/.285/.370 – basically just hitting for a bit more power than righties have. On the road, Wainwright had a 3.58 ERA this season (2.74 at home) and was more home run prone (10 HR allowed on the road in 78.0 innings vs. 11 at home in 128.1 innings). He only faced the Dodgers once this season, giving up 4 runs in 8.1 innings during a 15-7 win in early September.

Key Notes

The two teams played seven times during the regular season with the Dodgers winning 4 games. The two teams split a 4-game series in early September.

Adam Wainwright has thrown 109 innings in his postseason career and has a 2.89 ERA. He’s only pitched in one wild card game, though, and that was last year when he threw just 3.1 innings against San Diego in a loss. The Cardinals have lost 4 of his last 5 playoff starts (dating back to 2014’s NLCS).

Max Scherzer has thrown 112 innings in his postseason career and has a 3.38 ERA. His only appearance in a wild card game was back in 2019 when he threw 5.0 innings of 3-run baseball against Milwaukee. His team has won each of his last 4 playoff starts (all in 2019 with the Nationals).

When and Where

  • Game time: 8:10pm ET
  • Where: Dodger Stadium
  • Watch: TBS
  • Listen: ESPN Radio
  • Forecast: 71°, cloudy, 1% chance of rain

46 Responses

  1. Rowdy Reds Fan

    We are so close a healthy senzel maybe play him at 3rd or dh to keep him healthy. Call up Greene and Lodolo and keep our roster intact. We have to keep Castellanos pay him what he wants other players learn from him and along with Votto are the heart of the red machine!!!!

  2. Ryan

    Sorry you play 162 this should be best if three

    • Kevin Patrick

      I tend to agree…but wonder whether one game with a minimum of 13 innings would be cooler.

    • 2020ball

      agree 1000%. I dont know why they wouldnt want more playoff games. I think it can be detrimental to the team waiting to play them, but I think thats negligible ultimately. There are usually travel days in the playoffs too, so overall doubtful we’ll ever see it again.

      Different discussion, but why the divisional round isnt 7 games is something thats never made a dime of sense to me personally.

    • Greenfield Red

      Probably worried about weather issues in Northern cities.

  3. David

    Going back to the days of the Big Red Machine, 1969- 1976, the Dodgers were always big rivals. But it was an intense but good-spirited rivalry.
    The rivalry between the Reds and Cardinals since the divisional re-alignment has at times be rather harsh.

    I can’t bring myself to root for the Cardinals. I hope the Dodgers win tonight.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree with your assessment of the rivalries.
      So, same here plus my wife lived in SoCal from her early teens through mid 30’s. She still has family there including her daughter and grandsons, so it is an easy choice for me.

  4. Tom Reeves

    I’ll root for the team that didn’t make a deal with the devil.

  5. LDS

    It’s a toss up which team I want to lose tonight. I think I’d like to see the Dodgers fall first and the Cards in the next round. LA has been the bad guys for me for over half a century. The Cards on a couple of decades.

  6. SOQ

    I have a daughter in St. Louis and a son in LA. I’m staying neutral 🙂

  7. VaRedsFan

    It’s good that the Yankees are gone…Now either the Dodgers or Cards go…
    Let’s see the Cards win here then fall in the next series. 106 wins, then out in 1 game, would be a funny story.

    Tampa, CWS (despite Larussa), Astros (give Gusty one) would be OK.

    Some Reds fans were overjoyed that the Reds won a few games more than projections. The Giants are a true example of exceeding expectations.

  8. Mark A Moore

    Any way both teams could lose tonight and give SF a bye?

  9. centerfield

    Watching Will Smith catch makes you really appreciate Tucker Barnhardt.

    • JayTheRed

      amen to that… He doesn’t even seem to set up very well either.

      • Alan Horn

        His dying quail throws to 2B makes you wonder how he got to be a ML catcher.

  10. JayTheRed

    Rooting the Dodgers even though they used to be our rivals in the ole NL West.

    I just can’t stand the Cardinals and their fans are so annoying. Get those dirty birds out of there I don’t want any chance of a repeat of 2006.

  11. Frankie Tomatoes

    This game has been better than the AL game last night. Now let’s all hope the Dodgers can pull this one out because I know no one on Redleg Nation wants the Cardinals to advance.

    • Doc

      Wrong. I want the Cardinals to advance for several reasons:

      My wife of 50+ years is from St Louis.

      I always pull for the smaller market, smaller payroll team.

      I am loyal to our division.

      But, I won’t be watching. I am a Reds fan but baseball lost me as a fan with the first strike and just about everything that has happened since has reinforced that lack of interest.

      • Old Big Ed

        The “first strike” was 1972, when teams lost about 6 games each to the strike. You’re carrying a grudge almost as long as your marriage. Plus, you are missing out when you decide not to watch the Yankees sitting glumly in the dugout after being eliminated.

        I don’t let labor disputes bother me much. A lot of money is involved, and both sides have legitimate issues, so some friction is to be expected. I don’t let a UAW strike stop me from liking to drive, or boycott flying because the pilots may have gone on strike years ago. I do think it is bad PR for players and management to play chicken like they do, but deep down both sides know that they need the other, just like they do in other industries.

      • Frankie Tomatoes

        Always stand with the workers. And the players didn’t strike. The owners locked them out.

  12. Frankie Tomatoes

    The ole tomato is getting tired. Dodgers please score because I don’t have extra innings in me tonight.

  13. DaveCT

    LA trots out an all star team every night, or so it seems.

  14. Redleg Bob

    Against Cardinals (new enemy), Dodgers (old enemy), and White Sox (LaRussa). Fine with anybody else. Also wouldn’t seeing Dusty win the whole thing.

    • JayTheRed

      Sorry I can’t rout for a team that cheated in the recent past. It’s unforgivable.

  15. magi210

    Well, love or hate the teams, that was a fun game to watch.

  16. DaveCT

    Great for a utility guy to win the game. I can live with that.

  17. JayTheRed

    What a great game… Love the Birds are gone for the year. Now it’s go Brewers , go White Sox.

  18. CI3J

    Just saw where the Pads fired their manager (Tingler):

    The Padres fired Tingler on Wednesday, three days after they finished 79-83 and in third place in the NL West, 28 games behind San Francisco.

    General manager A.J. Preller said Tingler — who just a season ago was second in voting for NL Manager of the Year — would be given the opportunity to remain in the organization.

    Tingler’s fate was sealed during a shocking freefall that saw the Padres go from a one-game lead for the NL’s second wild-card spot on Sept. 9 to being eliminated from playoff contention with seven games left.

    Amazing seeing an organization hold their manager accountable.

    • greenmtred

      You fire the manager because it’s impractical to fire the team, and you want to appear to be doing something proactive. The Reds clearly held Bell accountable: His team exceeded expectations, and they extended his contract.

      • burtgummer01

        Shhhhh logic isn’t allowed here

      • CI3J

        Rewarding failure is exactly why the Reds are where they are now.

        The Reds were 12 games over .500 on August 24th. They proceeded to collapse against the easiest schedule in baseball and only finish 4 games over.

        No matter how you spin it, that is a failure.

        But I guess if you’re happy with mediocrity, why not just give Bell a lifetime contract? Nothing he does matters, since you “can’t fire the team”, so why not just keep the manager forever?

    • LDS

      Held Bell accountable is an absurd proclamation. To claim the Reds exceeded everyone’s expectations is to ignore the opportunities as the season unfolded.

    • burtgummer01

      So while the Padres were adding payroll in the off season the Reds were reducing it but that’s Bells fault
      It’s been 16 years since moneybags Bob took over and I believe 5 times they finished with a .500 record no playoff series wins but that’s Bells fault too
      you aren’t a very smart person

  19. west larry

    Good, the cardinals are gone. Now lets eliminate the dodgers. I hope it’s the white sox and giants in the world series. I won’t be upset if either wins, but I’ll root for the Giants.

  20. Jim Walker

    The devil called in his markers on the magic and as he departed the PA announced, “The devil has left the building. Have a safe trip home to St Louis.”

  21. Old-school

    Looking at the Dodgers $247 million payroll, its very hard to root for them. They have 3 pitchers in David Price, Trevor Bauer and Clayton Kershaw making $83 million and not really pitching, just replaced by $37 million dollar man Scherzer. They picked up the rest of Pujols $30 mil. $20 mil closer in Kenley Janson. They picked up injured Danny Duffy at $16 mil and Aj Pollack is always hurt with his $16 mil. Yet, they can swing and miss on over $100 mil and still win with a $247 mil cushion

    Cant root for a team that plays by different financial rules than anyone else. Contrast the Dodgers with the Brewers and that young pitching staff. Ill root for the Brewers and Rays.

    Cards are getting old. Reds have an opportunity in 2022+ to be a solid team for years if they construct the roster wisely and spend wisely and continue a focus on drafting and developing the right kinds of players.

    • David

      Those are very good points. I think the Dodgers have achieved a lot, along with the Big Money spent. Trevor Bauer SHOULD have been a good acquisition, but that went south, because Trevor Bauer was likely really abrasive in the Dodgers dugout and team. He made himself unwelcome.
      That opened the door to getting Scherzer, a real pro.
      Getting Pujols is kind of a head scratcher, but maybe he is the DH against AL team.

      The Dodgers organization has produced some very good young talent, but the extra money filled some holes that made them a 100 win team this year.
      It does seem as if they play in a different league or strata.

      And then look at the Giants, who somehow were even better. Tampa Bay is another team that is excellent at judging talent on their smaller payroll.
      The key overall, I think, is better appraisal of talent. And this is where the Reds’ and their smaller budget really fall short.

    • Old Big Ed

      I get the sentiment, but the Dodgers took on Price’s contract for the chance to get Mookie Betts. They will likely get some relief from the Bauer contract, if he is suspended. They pretty much had to re-sign Kershaw. Pujols was DFA’d, so the Dodgers only had to pay him the minimum salary, with the Angels (ouch) eating the rest of it.

      The Dodgers’ local TV and gate money clearly put them in a different place than the Reds. That is why I disagree with the idea that Castellini, being “rich,” can afford to pay what the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, etc. are now paying. He can’t, because the Dodgers would just up the ante again and spend another $100 million. No small-market owner is going to fund $40 million/year out of his pocket over the long run; they are generally going to spend what the cash flow allows. Obviously, the Reds could help cash flow by increasing revenues (generally with the better attendance and fan interest that comes with winning), or eliminating expenses (generally by avoiding getting into bad contracts such as with Mike Moustakas). But in the long run, the revenues dictate how much they spend on payroll, and the Reds’ revenues and free cash flow will never match the Dodgers’.

  22. TR

    A real good game that turned out the way I wanted it. Shildt joins Bell in heavy criticism for bringing in Reyes. If Giants eliminate Dodgers, then I don’t care who takes it all.

  23. GreatRedLegsFan

    No major difference here, either the Reds, the Padres or the Cards were going to loose that game against the Dodgers. My take is LA-MIL for NLCS.

  24. Indy Red Man

    Chris Taylor came off the bench cold and had been in a horrible slump. Reyes can throw 99-100 mph so he hangs a slider and ends their season? Baseball IQ? I find it hard to believe the manager or Molina would’ve called for that?

    • Jim Walker

      Thursday 0900> I just saw a replay from an angle I did not see last night. Played it several times to be sure. It looked like Reyes was walking off the mound almost before or just as the ball was struck. Saw the path of the pitch and the arc of the bat and took off. Doesn’t watch it in flight at all. Maybe he wasn’t sold on the pitch call either?

      • JB

        I noticed that last night. He knew it was gone when it left his hand.

      • Old Big Ed

        That was a flashback to the Whiplash Era of Jimmy Haynes and Jose Acevdo.

        I think Taylor would be an interesting target for the Reds this off-season. Can play middle infield and CF, hits right-handed, has some wheels, and wouldn’t cost a fortune.

  25. redsfan4040

    Chris Taylor is a free agent at season’s end. Can play all OF spots, SS, and 2b. OPS’d almost 900 vs lefties in 2021. Whether or not Castellanos returns to Cincinnati, he’d be a guy I’d like to see the Reds make a run at signing. Senzel is a ?, Naquin and Winker don’t hit LHP well.
    Taylor, Senzel, and Castellanos (fingers crossed) would be a formidable trio vs LHP, with Winker and Naquin ready to hit off the bench vs RH relief.