It’s been a rare occurrence where the Cincinnati Reds (81-78) and the St. Louis Cardinals (69-90) meet for the final series of the season and it’s the Cardinals who have nothing to play for, but indeed, that is what we have in 2023.
The Cardinals were eliminated weeks ago and will finish with at least 90 losses this season. The Reds, however, still have a chance, even if it’s the slightest chance. Brandon Williamson gets the start, as the Reds need a series sweep (and some help) to ensure a playoff spot. First pitch is at 8:15 pm EDT.
St. Louis Cardinals
|2B Jonathan India||2B Tommy Edman|
|CF T.J. Friedl||1B Paul Goldschmidt|
|LF Spencer Steer||RF Jordan Walker|
|1B Christian Encarnacion-Strand||DH Luken Baker|
|DH Nick Martini||CF Lars Nootbaar|
|C Tyler Stephenson||C Andrew Knizner|
|SS Elly De La Cruz||3B Jose Fermin|
|3B Noelvi Marte||LF Richie Palacios|
|RF Will Benson||SS Masyn Winn|
|Links: Brandon Williamson’s Stats | Jake Woodford’s Stats
Brandon Williamson’s season had its ups and downs, but overall, it can be considered a successful rookie season for the 25-year-old left-hander. He increased his innings total by about 30 innings from the previous year. In 2022, he pitched 122.2 innings at Double-A. This year, it increased to 145 innings (and counting)– 34.0 at Triple-A and 111.0 at the MLB level. The ERA may not show it, but Williamson has had some promising starts in 2023. He’ll be heavily considered to be in the starting rotation in 2024.
One thing that helped Williamson is the development of his cutter. He has only gotten more and more comfortable using it as the season has progressed. He was only using it about 20 percent of the time after introducing it in May, but now in September uses it about 31 percent of the time. It’s become his secondary pitch after the four seam fastball.
Most Reds fans know Jake Woodford from the moment in April 2021 when Nick Castellanos scored a run at GABP and then stood over him at home plate. This year, the 26-year-old right-hander has been on and off the injured list this season with right shoulder issues throughout the season, and has appeared in only 14 games for the Cardinals.
Woodford started six games in April, but after a few bad starts, the Cardinals moved him to the bullpen when he returned from the injured list in June. He was the pitcher who could get them through two or three innings out of the bullpen, if needed. He’s made two appearances in September thus far, allowing only one run on five hits in 6.1 innings.
Lefties have hit him well in 2023. In 103 plate appearances, left-handed hitters are hitting .326 against him with five home runs. They’re getting on-base at a .379 clip. It’d sure be nice to have a certain first baseman in the lineup tonight who gets on base a lot, wouldn’t it? Joey Votto only has two hits and a walk in six plate appearances against Woodford, including a home run.
- Time: 8:15 pm EDT
- Place: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
- Weather: 79 degrees, clear, 0 percent chance of rain
- TV: Bally Sports Ohio
- Radio: 700 WLW
News and Notes
Nick Krall, Brad Meador have been promoted
About 90 minutes prior to the game, news broke that the Reds had promoted Nick Krall to President of Baseball Operations and Brad Meador was promoted to General Manager. We wrote about both, and have some words from Krall on the moves from this evening.
The Reds have not been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet. It’s going to be difficult, but there’s a path. Redleg Nation has you covered with every scenario possible this weekend. You should be rooting for the Pirates, Brewers, and Astros too.
Today’s Roster Move
It was a minor one, but Daniel Duarte went on the IL and the Reds made a corresponding roster move.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) September 29, 2023