Jake Woodford gets his shot at revenge, but Nick Castellanos won't be involved as the visiting St. Louis Cardinals take on the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday in the second game of their three-game weekend series.
Woodford was the pitcher covering home when Castellanos scored on a wild pitch in a 9-6Reds win at Cincinnati on April 3. Castellanos, who was hit earlier in the game, flexed his biceps over a prone Woodford on the ground, earning him a two-game suspension from Major League Baseball.
The Cardinals will need a good outing from their right-hander to stop the Cincinnati momentum in the season series. The Reds have won five straight over the Cardinals, including a four-game sweep in St. Louis in early June, and have taken seven of 11 so far this season.
Castellanos was placed on the 10-day injured list Friday with a microfracture in his right wrist, leaving Cincinnati with Aristides Aquino and Tyler Naquin as options for his replacement in right.
"It'll be day-to-day. It'll be based on the opposing team's pitcher," Reds manager David Bell said of plans to replace Castellanos. "It'll be based on a lot of things, just like we make all our decisions. But I would not go into it saying Shogo (Akiyama) is going to play against every right-hander, and Aquino is going to play against every left-hander."
Woodford (2-1, 4.06 ERA), one of 10 starters used by the Cardinals this season, has been looking for consistency lately. He was optioned to the minors on June 28, getting three starts at Triple-A Memphis to stretch out and improve on command. After walking 14 and striking out 21 before the demotion, Woodford didn't walk a batter Monday in a win over the Cubs.
"In my starts in (Triple-A) Memphis, that was definitely an emphasis, trying to try to get ahead and stay ahead and minimize free passes, because those are tough, and they're tough to work around," Woodford said. "Thankfully, (Monday) I was able to limit those."
Woodford is making his first career start against the Reds, posting no record and a 6.14 ERA in five relief appearances.
The Reds counter with right-hander Luis Castillo (3-10, 4.39). Castillo began his two-month dominating run against St. Louis on June 4, when he held the Cardinals to three hits and one run over six innings.
In June, Castillo posted a 1.71 ERA, the fifth-best ERA in the National League. So far in July, Castillo has posted a 1.82 ERA, second-best in the National League behind leader and teammate Wade Miley (1.29).
Castillo is 5-6 with a 4.61 ERA in 14 career starts against St. Louis.
--Field Level Media