April 20, 2021

Washington Nationals Series Preview: Cincinnati Reds

On Thursday the Nationals enjoyed their third off-day in eleven days. On Friday in Cincinnati they begin a stretch of 23 games in 24 days.

The Nationals (28-19) begin the series a game and a half in front of the Mets in the National League East, while the Reds (19-27) sit eleven and a half games back in the NL Central.

If the just-completed Cubs-Nationals series was everything a baseball fan could want, the Nationals’ next series against Cincinnati could prove somewhat anticlimactic. The Reds have not played very good baseball so far this season, and enter the series having lost ten of their last eleven games.

The Last Time…

In 2014 the Reds and Nationals split their 6-game season series. In May the Reds took two out of three in Washington and in July the Nationals took two of three in Cincinnati.

In The Other Dugout

The Nationals will be catching one of the Reds’ bright spots in a season where bright spots have been few and far between for Cincinnati.

Anthony DeSclafani pitches for the Reds Friday night, and he has been very good so far this season. His record is only 2-4, but he has a 3.46 ERA. He threw 8 scoreless innings against the Brewers on April 20, giving up just two hits, then struggled in a couple of May starts before a seven inning outing his last time out against Cleveland where he gave up three hits and just one run.

DeSclafani pitched for the Marlins last year and then was traded to the Reds for Mat Latos. He was sent to Miami by Toronto back in 2012 as part of the blockbuster deal that brought Jose Reyes, Mark Buerhle, and Josh Johnson to the Blue Jays.

Matchup To Watch

The Nationals are slated to face Johnny Cueto on Sunday. Cueto has been dealing with an elbow injury and hasn’t pitched since May 19th. He reportedly threw without discomfort on Wednesday and will throw one more time before the Reds make an official call for Sunday. If he goes, Denard Span will be happy: Span is 5 for 10 in his career against Cueto.

Probables

Friday, 7:10pm: Stephen Strasburg (3-5, 6.50 ERA) vs. Anthony DeSclafani (2-4, 3.46 ERA)

Saturday, 4:10pm: Gio Gonzalez (4-2, 4.53 ERA) vs. Raisel Iglesias (1-1, 4.26 ERA)

Sunday, 1:10pm: Tanner Roark (1-2, 2.49 ERA) vs. Johnny Cueto (3-4, 3.03 ERA)

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