The Cubs have 28 games remaining this season. Nine of those games will be against the Reds, thanks to MLB’s lockout. The final three of those nine, which will also be the last three games of the 2023 season, are games rescheduled from what was supposed to be the opening series this year.
For more on the Reds, here’s Wick Terrell, manager of our SB Nation Reds site Red Reporter.
It’s cold comfort, but at least the Cincinnati Reds had the Colorado Rockies to assuage their baseball playing ills over the weekend. Playing the Rockies has been one of the few things that’s allowed them to actually do a bit of flourishing over the last few months, as serious injuries to their purposefully depleted roster have left them about as threadbare as they’ve been in recent memory.
The Reds took two of three from Colorado, for what it’s worth, with a predictable bullpen implosion all that stood in the way of what could have been a series sweep. Thank heavens for the Rockies.
Cincinnati had gone just 7-14 over their previous 21 games prior to that most recent series, however, almost all of which coinciding with the end of Joey Votto’s season to major shoulder and biceps surgery. They lost their veteran rock, even though he’d been playing poorly while injured. They’d already lost Tyler Stephenson, who looks like the guy who’ll replace Votto as the rock in the lineup going forward. They’d lost bright rookie starters Hunter Greene and Graham Ashcraft, too, and the few bright spots we were left to watch during this rebuilding season were mostly turned off.
That said, there have been a few glimmers that have emerged, though it remains to be seen just how much of that was due to Rockies pitching. Jonathan India has rounded into the same form that won him last year’s NL Rookie of the Year, hitting .313/.389/.484 over his last 34 games, which rookie Spencer Steer — acquired from Minnesota in the Tyler Mahle deal — hit the ground running last week with a homer and a four-hit game. TJ Friedl has even turned into a bit of a power machine since being recalled, and their work has been what’s fueled the Reds offense of late. The Cubs will be lucky to dodge Nick Lodolo, the lone man standing in the Reds makeshift rotation who looks the part of a long-term cog. He just pitched a gem against Colorado, something he’s been prone to do more often than not of late.
This will be no vintage Cubs/Reds series in Wrigley this week, with few recognizable names and little on the line. Still, I get the impression that neither one of these clubs wants to finish in fourth place in the division, which puts at least a little bit on the line this week.
The Cubs will not see Joey Votto in this series, as he underwent shoulder surgery August 17 and will miss the rest of the season.
When Albert Pujols retires, Votto will become the active player with the most career home runs against the Cubs. He’s hit 48 against the North Siders, his most against any team, and exactly half of those (24) at Wrigley Field, where he will also become the active leader among opponents when Pujols retires.
Probable pitching matchups
Tuesday: Wade Miley, LHP (1-0, 2.84 ERA, 1.211 WHIP, 3.27 FIP) vs. Justin Dunn, RHP (1-2, 4.63 ERA, 1.371 WHIP, 6.93 FIP)
Wednesday: Javier Assad, RHP (0-0, 0.90 ERA, 1.600 WHIP, 3.72 FIP) vs. Mike Minor, LHP (3-10, 5.98 ERA, 1.530 WHIP, 5.97 FIP)
Thursday: Adrian Sampson, RHP (1-5, 3.95 ERA, 1.330 WHIP, 3.72 FIP) vs. Luis Cessa, RHP (3-2, 5.18 ERA, 1.418 WHIP, 5.48 FIP)
NOTE: The Cubs website lists “TBD” for the Cubs for some of these games, but I’m going by this tweet from Sunday for this series:
Cubs rotation for Cincinnati: Miley (off IL), Assad, Sampson. Giving Steele extra time with his back.— Steve Greenberg (@SLGreenberg) September 4, 2022
Steele, of course, is now on the injured list. It’s all subject to change, the reason it says “probable” above.
Times & TV channels
Tuesday: 6:40 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network
Wednesday: 6:40 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network
Thursday: 1:20 p.m. CT, YouTube
The Cubs are 6-4 against the Reds this year and have taken two of three in each of the last two series played against them. The Reds are bad on the road — 24-40 — and have lost nine of their last 13 road games. The Cubs will take two of three.
The Cubs host the San Francisco Giants in a three-game series at Wrigley Field that begins Friday afternoon.
How many games will the Cubs win against the Reds?
This poll is closed