The Reds lost their eighth consecutive game, dropping Sunday’s contest 3-2 to the Cardinals. The club is now 2-13 on the season, heading towards a fifth consecutive losing season under manager Bryan Price — and perhaps a fourth consecutive season of fewer than 70 wins.
There are whispers that Price is on the hot seat. Steve Mancuso of Redleg Nation wrote a good, level-headed column explaining why firing Price won’t solve the Reds’ woes. A big reason is that the club needs healthy players first and foremost. Currently, Eugenio Suarez, Anthony DeSclafani, Scott Schebler, Rookie Davis, Kevin Shackelford, Michael Lorenzen, and David Hernandez are all on the disabled list. The Reds are also dealing with lots of players not living up to their expected levels of play — chief among them is Joey Votto, who’s batting .250 with a .536 OPS. Adam Duvall has a .479 OPS; Billy Hamilton, .490. Starter Luis Castillo, who has great stuff, has given up 13 runs in 16 innings.
While firing Price and bringing in a new manager might help Alex Blandino get some more playing time and might help spur a call-up for prospect Nick Senzel, and some more new-school, optimized strategy may be employed, it won’t turn the rebuilding Reds into contenders overnight.
To his credit, Price has also been level-headed about his situation. He says he won’t overuse his players in an effort to keep his job:
Price’s ouster seems like an inevitability, but Mancuso is right — firing him isn’t going to fix all that ails the Reds.
It’s winner-take-all tonight. The Brewers are out for their first National League pennant in franchise history, while the Dodgers will look to secure back-to-back pennant wins for the first time since 1977-78. Taking the mound: Right-handers Jhoulys Chacín and Walker Buehler, both of whom were last seen in Game 3 of the NLCS. Chacín fired 5 1/3 shutout innings of three-hit, six-strikeout ball to secure his second win of the 2018 postseason, while Buehler took his first loss after allowing four runs and striking out eight over seven innings.
Here are the lineups for Game 7:
1. Joc Pederson (L) LF
2. Max Muncy (L) 1B
3. Justin Turner (R) 3B
4. Manny Machado (R) SS
5. Cody Bellinger (L) CF
6. Yasiel Puig (R) RF
7. Chris Taylor (R) 2B
8. Austin Barnes (R) C
9. Walker Buehler (R) P
David Freese will sit out of the Dodgers’ series finale, though he could be brought in later to pinch-hit. In his place, Max Muncy will shift from second to first base, with Chris Taylor covering second and Joc Pederson slotting into the left field corner and batting leadoff. Taylor and Puig have also swapped places in the batting order, with Puig getting bumped up to the no. 6 spot for Saturday’s game.
1. Lorenzo Cain (R) CF
2. Christian Yelich (L) RF
3. Ryan Braun (R) LF
4. Travis Shaw (L) 2B
5. Jesús Aguilar (R) 1B
6. Mike Moustakas (L) 3B
7. Erik Kratz (R) C
8. Orlando Arcia (R) SS
9. Jhoulys Chacín (R) P
Not surprisingly, there are no changes on the Brewers’ end here. They’ll try to replicate yesterday’s 7-2 stunner as they face off against Walker Buehler for a World Series berth.
Game time is scheduled for 8:09 PM EDT at Miller Park.