Previewing the pitching matchups: Reds vs. Cubs
Cincinnati Reds starter Hunter Greene vs. Chicago Cubs starter Hayden Wesneski
Rookie Hunter Greene (4-13 4.66 ERA) makes his final start of the season opposing Hayden Wesneski (3-1 2.33 ERA) of the Cubs in tonight's opener. If there's been one bright spot in the Reds season, it's been the dominance of Greene over his last seven starts.
Tossing 40.1 innings, the fireballing right-hander has whiffed 58 while compiling an exceptional 2.01 ERA. The 22-year-old California native has not allowed more than two earned runs in an outing in six starts dating back to a July 15th appearance versus the St. Louis Cardinals.
Right-hander Hayden Wesneski has been impressive in a trio of September starts. Working 18.1 frames, he's limited the opposition to four runs and surrendered only one round-tripper. The former sixth-round selection of the New York Yankees in 2019 is looking to solidify a spot on the 2023 Chicago roster.
Cincinnati Reds starter Luis Cessa vs. Chicago Cubs starter Javier Assad
Luis Cessa (4-4 4.76 ERA) toes the rubber Tuesday night as Javier Assad (2-2 3.62 ERA) takes the mound for David Ross' club. Let's hope Cessa can weave the same magic against the Cubs he deployed in a September 8th start versus the North Siders.
The 30-year-old Mexican fanned a season-high eight Cubbies in 5.2 innings leading the Reds to a 4-3 victory. If the Reds are going to lean heavily on Cessa next season, he has to be much better at GABP. In 20 appearances at home, including three starts, the right-hander has compiled an ugly 6.75 ERA in 32 frames of work.
Rookie Javier Assad is another Cubbie looking to establish himself for the 2023 Chicago club. If he's going to be a part of the Cubs' future, he'll need to limit traffic on the base paths. Opponents have reached base 50 times via a hit or walk in Assad's 32.1 innings.
Cincinnati Reds starter Graham Ashcraft vs. Chicago Cubs starter Adrian Sampson
Wednesday's matinee season finale will feature Graham Ashcraft (5-5 4.52) battling Adrian Sampson (4-5 3.10 ERA) for Chicago. Since returning from the injured list, it's been tough going for the Cincinnati rookie.
Hurling 6.2 innings, Ashcraft has been rocked for 14 hits and nine earned runs. In addition, the Cubs have been a nightmare matchup for the Alabama native. The right-hander has yielded 19 hits and 15 earned runs in only 11.1 frames versus the North Siders in three outings.
Adrian Sampson has had no such trouble shutting down the Redlegs this season. A former fifth-round selection of the Pirates in the 2012 draft, he's allowed Cincinnati to cross the plate just four times in three starts since August 13th.