The Reds welcome the Cardinals to Cincinnati for their initial 2020 visit.
Missed opportunities have clearly become the theme of the 2020 season for the Reds. This past weekend the Reds (15-19) hosted the first-place Chicago Cubs with an opportunity to take three of four games in yesterday’s series finale and climb within three games of first place. Unfortunately, the Reds offense produced just one run and another late-inning meltdown from the bullpen put the game completely out of reach.
As the Cardinals series begins, the Reds are just 1.5 games out of a playoff spot which also happens to be the same number the Reds trail St. Louis. Through the first 34 games of the season, inconsistency has plagued the Redlegs throughout the 2020 campaign and it’s hard to be too confident about the team overcoming a relatively small deficit and playing in October. However, through all the frustration there are reasons to believe in this club.
For starters, the Reds have won four of their last six contests scoring six runs in each of those victories. Right-handed starter Tyler Mahle, more on him later, is coming off one of the best starts in his career.
Next, after being benched for three consecutive games due to ineffective play, first baseman Joey Votto looked like his legendary himself the past three games. The 36-year-old leadoff hitter went 4-for-9 with two homers, a double and a walk.
In their first matchup of the season, the Cards took 3-of-4 from the Reds in St. Louis, like they always do. Unfortunately, the Reds have struggled to protect their home field against the Cardinals in recent years as well. Since 2018 the Cardinals have captured 13 of 20 between the two teams at GABP. The Reds absolutely must not relive this recent history over the next three days.