After the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers stepped aside Wednesday to bring awareness to social-injustice issues, the National League Central foes will have a busy day of baseball.
The Reds and Brewers will close out their four-game series at Milwaukee with a doubleheader on Thursday.
Hours before the clubs were slated to continue their series Wednesday night, a decision by both teams was made to boycott that game in the wake of the continued unrest in nearby Kenosha, Wis. Protests have followed the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot by a police officer Sunday. Two nights of protests, approximately 40 miles south of Milwaukee, have drawn national attention.
The joint decision to not play Wednesday followed the lead of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, who boycotted their playoff game against the Orlando Magic in Florida. Other NBA, WNBA, MLS and MLB games also were postponed Wednesday in a show of unity across the sports landscape.
“With our community and nation in such pain, we wanted to draw attention to the issues that really matter, especially racial injustice and systemic oppression,” the Brewers said in a statement.
When play resumes, Milwaukee will aim for a third straight victory over the Reds, who have dropped four in a row overall. The doubleheader will feature two seven-inning games.
While the Brewers have regrouped in the first two of the set after losing four straight, Cincinnati must get out of its own funk. The Reds have scored six runs total in the past four games.
“We’re not winning games,” manager David Bell told reporters. “It’s really difficult to go through that. And our players continue to compete, support one another and everything in their power to turn this around.”
Reds right-hander Sonny Gray (2-1, 2.21 ERA) is expected to start Game 1. Gray ranks among baseball’s leaders in ERA and strikeouts (51). However, his shortest outing of 2020 came at Milwaukee on Aug. 9. Lasting 5 1/3 innings, Gray allowed four runs, six hits and three walks while fanning seven during a 9-3 loss to the Brewers.
Gray was better in his most recent road start at St. Louis on Wednesday, allowing two runs, four hits and four walks in six innings. The Reds ultimately blew a late lead.
Ex-Brewer Wade Miley (0-3, 9.72 ERA) is expected to start the second game for the Reds. The left-hander allowed three runs, seven hits and walked three in a 3-0 loss at St. Louis on Saturday.
Milwaukee is expected to start Adrian Houser (1-2, 3.72 ERA) and Josh Lindblom (1-1, 6.65 ERA) in the two games.
Houser allowed one run over 12 innings while going 1-0 in his first two 2020 starts. However, he is 0-2 with a 5.82 ERA in the past three. The right-hander gave up four runs and nine hits over seven innings of a 7-2 loss at Pittsburgh on Friday.
Lindblom yielded three runs and six hits over four innings of a 12-5 loss at Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Cincinnati star Joey Votto is 0-for-18 in his past five games after striking out all four times during the Reds’ 3-2 loss on Tuesday. He was ejected from that contest in the eighth inning.
–Field Level Media