Reds Country, it was very nearly the week that wasn't. Despite playing in the second annual Field of Dreams Game in Dyersville, Iowa on Thursday, the Cincinnati Reds (45-68) had to rally from behind to salvage the final game of a three-game set from the Chicago Cubs to complete a forgettable 1-5 week.
Entering play today, the Redlegs occupy fourth place in the National League Central trailing the first-place St. Louis Cardinals by 17.5 games and are one game clear of the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates. After beginning the second half of the 2022 campaign with a blistering 10-6 pace, reality has reared its ugly head.
Unfortunately, the culprit is easy to define. Yesterday's eight-run outburst versus the Chicago Cubs was the first time the Reds scored more than two runs in a contest all week. To add insult to injury, the Cincinnati pitching staff allowed less than four runs in only one game last week. Needless to say, victories were hard to find.
Jake Fraley and the Reds welcome Nick Castellanos back to GABP.
The last two days notwithstanding, the winner's circle has not been as elusive for the Philadelphia Phillies (63-51) of late. Philadelphia has won seven of their last 10 contests, and sit 1.5 games in front of the Milwaukee Brewers for the final Wild Card spot in the senior circuit.
This series will feature the return of Nick Castellanos to the Queen City since leaving for the city of Brotherly Love in the offseason. Without a doubt, Castellanos was the MVP of a 2021 Cincinnati ball club that remained in contention for a playoff berth deep into September.
Castellanos hit .309/.362/.576 with 34 homers and 100 RBIs as a member of the Reds last season, but has been unable to duplicate his success with the Phillies. A dismal .256/.303/,376 slash line with 10 round-trippers and 54 ribbies is hardly what the Philadelphia front office had in mind when they inked him to a five-year/$100M deal in March.
Over the last decade, the Cincinnati Reds have dominated the Philadelphia Phillies at GABP winning 21 of the 29 contests. As a matter of fact, Philadelphia hasn't won a series in Cincinnati since Roy Halladay defeated Mike Leake in a September 5, 2012 game to secure a Phillies series victory.