Hope you had a balanced breakfast. I have a feeling you’ll need it to get through another wacky game in Cincinnati. The Mets will finish their series against the Reds today in a daytime rubber match before they return home on Friday.

How to Enjoy

It’s a 12:35 ET start, and you’re television destination for this one is SNY, where I’m sure Gary Cohen will take another shot at Skyline Chili. If you’re in Cincinnati and not at the game for some reason, you can check it out on Bally Sports Ohio. And for the rest of the country, MLB Network will be simulcasting this one.

If you’re an old timey radio fan, you can catch this game on WCBS 880, or WQBU 92.7. Or WLW 700 in Cincinnati, where hopefully a Reds announcer won’t have to apologize for anything (but if Nick Castellanos is playing, all bets are off.)

The Pitchers

Marcus Stroman has had one other career start in Cincinnati. It was in September of 2019, and a flu limited him to four and 2/3’s innings where he gave up three hits, three walks, and two runs. (The good old days, where the flu was the worst thing we worried about infecting us.) The Mets would win this game as they ambushed Trevor Bauer for four runs in the first inning.

Stroman has had a strong overall season, but has struggled in his last four games, going 1-3 with a 5.00 ERA and an opponents batting average of .338 in 18 innings of work.

May 16, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Jeff Hoffman (23) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Hoffman starts for the Reds, and he will be making his first appearance since May 26th as he was dealing with a shoulder impingement. Hoffman’s last six starts before he was officially injured featured only 20 and 2/3’s innings of work as he pitched to a 6.53 ERA and 20 walks in that time. We’ll see how pitching while injury free will help his control.

The Lineups

The Reds posted their lineup first so let’s start there …

And the Flushing Nine:

Kudos to Tim Healey for posting the Mets lineups before the literal Mets did. Jonathan Villar gets the start at third base, and Tomas Nido is back behind the dish.

Game Notes

  • Nick Castellanos is still battling a wrist injury he suffered on Friday when he was hit by a pitch. If there were thoughts about bringing him back to the starting lineup today, they might have been squashed when the Reds saw that he was 2-for-17 lifetime against Stroman. (But one of those hits was a grand slam in September of 2017.)
  • Tyler Naquin, on the other hand, has owned Stroman with eight hits in 14 career at-bats. Naquin is not battling a wrist injury.
  • Going into Tuesday, Michael Conforto is a lifetime .305 hitter with a .978 OPS against the Reds in his career. He’s a lifetime .283 hitter with a .983 OPS at Great American Ballpark.

View the original article on Metstradamus: 7/21/21 Afternoon Game Preview: New York Mets at Cincinnati Reds