|PITTSBURGH ( CUMPTON )|
CINCINNATI ( REYNOLDS )
|953||PITTSBURGH||+130||Ov 8,-105||+125||Ov 8,-115|
|954||CINCINNATI||-140||Un 8,-115||-135||Un 8,-105|
|vs Right-handed Starters||75-55||+19.5||55-71||3.8||0.240||0.300||3.6||0.234||0.300|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+2.6||3-4||4.4||0.226||0.297||3.4||0.246||0.311|
|vs Right-handed Starters||63-46||-1.2||57-48||4.5||0.253||0.329||3.7||0.238||0.298|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-5.9||2-5||3.1||0.232||0.314||3.7||0.220||0.287|
|9/15/2013||LIRIANO(L)||CHICAGO CUBS||WOOD(L)||3-2||W||-175||6.5 un||U||7||6||0||3||5||0|
|9/16/2013||BURNETT(R)||SAN DIEGO||CASHNER(R)||0-2||L||-170||6.5 un||U||1||0||0||8||10||0|
|9/17/2013||LOCKE(L)||SAN DIEGO||STULTS(L)||2-5||L||-180||7 un||P||7||7||0||14||10||1|
|9/18/2013||MORTON(R)||SAN DIEGO||ROSS(R)||2-3||L||-165||7 un||U||3||0||0||6||6||0|
|9/19/2013||COLE(R)||SAN DIEGO||KENNEDY(R)||10-1||W||-185||7 un||O||14||10||0||5||8||1|
|9/23/2013||MORTON(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||SAMARDZIJA(R)||2-1||W||-125||7.5 un||U||6||9||0||6||5||1|
|9/24/2013||COLE(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||RUSIN(L)||8-2||W||-165||7 ev||O||12||8||1||10||9||1|
|9/25/2013||LIRIANO(L)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||ARRIETA(R)||2-4||L||-160||6.5 un||U||6||8||1||9||8||2|
|9/27/2013||BURNETT(R)||@ CINCINNATI||BAILEY(R)||4-1||W||120||7 un||U||6||8||0||6||4||0|
|9/28/2013||MORTON(R)||@ CINCINNATI||ARROYO(R)||8-3||W||110||7.5 ov||O||13||5||0||5||11||1|
|9/29/2013||CUMPTON(R)||@ CINCINNATI||REYNOLDS(R)|| |
|9/15/2013||ARROYO(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||GALLARDO(R)||5-6||L||-130||8 un||O||8||8||0||5||3||1|
|9/16/2013||CUETO(R)||@ HOUSTON||BEDARD(L)||6-1||W||-175||8 ov||U||7||7||0||7||6||1|
|9/17/2013||LEAKE(R)||@ HOUSTON||LYLES(R)||10-0||W||-175||8.5 un||O||12||5||1||5||6||1|
|9/18/2013||REYNOLDS(R)||@ HOUSTON||PEACOCK(R)||6-5||W||-145||9 ev||O||9||15||0||13||16||1|
|9/20/2013||LATOS(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||LIRIANO(L)||6-5||W||110||6.5 un||O||9||7||0||10||5||1|
|9/21/2013||BAILEY(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||BURNETT(R)||2-4||L||100||7 un||U||5||4||2||5||5||0|
|9/22/2013||ARROYO(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||LOCKE(L)||11-3||W||105||6.5 ov||O||16||9||0||5||6||2|
|9/23/2013||CUETO(R)||NY METS||HARANG(R)||3-2||W||-245||7.5 un||U||10||15||1||6||5||0|
|9/24/2013||LEAKE(R)||NY METS||NIESE(L)||2-4||L||-180||7.5 ev||U||8||5||0||10||5||0|
|9/25/2013||LATOS(R)||NY METS||MATSUZAKA(R)||0-1||L||-265||8 un||U||4||6||0||4||7||0|
|PITTSBURGH: HITTING: The Pirates' two-month casual flirtation with competitiveness was cute while it lasted, before this team fizzled to a 72-win season. This team is still years away. But don't blame OF ANDREW McCUTCHEN, who might be the best all-around player in the division. Of all the ballyhooed outfielders from the 2005 draft, he's the one GMs would most want to build around. OF JOSE TABATA, not so much. He's serviceable and has plus speed, but the six-year extension the Pirates gave him was absurd. 2B NEIL WALKER has settled into a respectable place short of stardom. 3B PEDRO ALVAREZ has a lot of uphill climbing to do if he wants to wake up old expectations. He'll compete with 3B CASEY MCGEHEE for a starting role, but it's most likely that Alvarez moves to first base to back up 1B GARRETT JONES. OFs NATE McLOUTH and ALEX PRESLEY are underwhelming choices for the starting left-field spot. SS CLINT BARMES and C ROD BARAJAS would like to thank the Pirates for wildly overpaying them. |
STARTING PITCHING: JEFF KARSTENS looked pretty decent for much of last year. But that's what happens when you get to log 14 percent of your innings against the lowly Astros. Better teams exposed him for the replacement-level guy he is. Contrary to what a lot of bored, lazy sportswriters wanted you to believe last year, CHARLIE MORTON doesn't pitch like Roy Halladay. At all. JAMES McDONALD could still be special if he cut down his walk rate. ERIK BEDARD was a respectable signing. Even if his shoulder acts up, he cost only $4.5 million for a year. If he's healthy, he's still well above-average. KEVIN CORREIA may only be slightly more effective at striking out hitters than a batting tee, but the Pirates are grateful for the innings he eats. BRAD LINCOLN is the designated fill-in if any of the other starters get hurt (cough, Bedard). In the meantime, he's a swing man.
RELIEF PITCHING: Closer JOEL HANRAHAN has been outstanding since first donning a Pirates uniform in 2009, converting 40-of-44 saves with a 1.83 ERA last season. It makes sense for the rebuilding Pirates to move him, but they'll probably keep the hand they were dealt. There isn't another qualified ninth-inning pitcher in this bullpen though. EVAN MEEK was bit by the shoulder bug. His early season was an unqualified disaster, but he turned it around and regained his form once he came back in September. He should be fully healthy again, and a quiet source of a few saves. CHRIS RESOP is another primary set-up man, but he posted a 4.39 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 2011. DANIEL McCUTCHEN won't be so lucky with his ERA this year if he doesn't lower his walk rate. He's just not a guy to put much faith in.
|CINCINNATI: HITTING: 2B BRANDON PHILLIPS sparked the Reds offense after moving to the top of the order. But his free-swinging makes him a bad fit there. SS ZACK COZART played in only 11 games for the Reds before wrecking his non-throwing elbow, but it was still enough to convince the team they'd seen enough of PAUL JANISH in the starting role. 1B JOEY VOTTO keeps punishing pitchers. OF JAY BRUCE is in his gawky, teenage phase, but he's already emerged as a major power source. OF DREW STUBBS must cut down on his MLB-leading 206 strikeouts. He's out of the leadoff spot now, but those whiffs don't play well anywhere in the lineup. OF CHRIS HEISEY should get the starting nod in left now that Yonder Alonso is out of the picture. 3B SCOTT ROLEN is a permanent health question mark. His backup, JUAN FRANCISCO, swings for the fences. C DEVIN MESORACO is the most hyped catching prospect since Matt Wieters. RYAN HANIGAN will split squatting responsibilities with him. |
STARTING PITCHING: Considered a source of strength entering the 2011 campaign, the Reds rotation directly caused their undoing. The first step toward a remedy was trading for MAT LATOS, who began 2011 slow and got stronger as the year went on. The 24-year-old threw at least six innings with 5+ K in 16 of his final 17 starts (2.94 ERA). But that was in a much more pitcher-friendly environment. He has a decent career road ERA (3.57), and Cincy will surely give him much better run support than he received in San Diego. Last year's pitching problems began with BRONSON ARROYO, who gave up more home runs in a season than any pitcher in this millennium. He allowed more HR (46) than walks (45). JOHNNY CUETO was the one big bright spot; he hasn't maintained the strikeout rates he flashed early in his career, but he's All-Star caliber. HOMER BAILEY was a disappointment, going 9-7 with a 4.43 ERA. MIKE LEAKE actually pitched pretty well after he got his first taste of the minors to get his mechanics worked out.
RELIEF PITCHING: With Francisco Cordero flying the coop, and newcomer RYAN MADSON lost for the season with Tommy John Surgery, Cincinnati will use a closer-by-committee approach. The Reds gave up three players, including starter Travis Wood, to acquire SEAN MARSHALL, who should fit in nicely as a set-up man who's tough on both right-and left-handed batters. AROLDIS CHAPMAN is listed as the main set-up man for Marshall, but he missed out on winter ball and could be too raw to trust in the ninth inning. LOGAN ONDRUSEK is also capable of being a decent closer, with a big fastball.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (PITTSBURGH-CINCINNATI) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Pirates-Reds Preview* ======================
By JEFF MEZYDLO STATS Senior Writer
Pittsburgh (92-68) at Cincinnati (90-70), 1:10 p.m. EDT
Before the Pittsburgh Pirates return home to host Cincinnati in their first postseason game in 21 years, they hope to hand the Reds a season-high tying fifth consecutive defeat Sunday.
The Pirates can do so by concluding the regular season with their first three-game road sweep of the Reds in 10 years Sunday.
By outscoring Cincinnati 12-4 in winning the first two of this set, Pittsburgh (93-68) clinched the NL's top wild-card spot and will host Tuesday's playoff game between the teams. Neil Walker hit two of the Pirates' six homers as they won for the fourth time in five games, 8-3 on Saturday.
"Better to be home than on the road," said Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, who was 0 for 17 in the previous five games against the Reds (90-71) before recording two hits, including a homer.
"(Saturday) showed how bad we wanted to go home. We answered in a big way."
Pittsburgh's last home playoff game was Game 5 of the NL championship series versus Atlanta in Oct. 11, 1992.
For the moment, the Pirates can record their first three-game series sweep at Cincinnati since March 31-April 2, 2003 - their first trip to Great American Ball Park.
The Reds have batted .185 while scoring six runs during their four-game slide.
"It's disappointing, but you've got to get over it," manager Dusty Baker said. "Teams have won championships with their backs to the wall, like San Francisco last year. If that's what you've got to do, that's what you've got to do."
Jay Bruce drove in two runs Saturday, but is 4 for 33 in his last eight games. Teammate Joey Votto walked three times and is 3 for 6 in the series, but has one home run and three RBIs in his last 11 contests.
Walker, meanwhile, has hit six of his career-high 16 home runs while batting .324 over the last nine games.
Pittsburgh's Pedro Alvarez added to his career-high home-run total with his 36th on Saturday, and has three with nine RBIs while batting .333 in the last nine. He's 8 for 20 during that span against the Reds.
With the finale having no impact on the standings, it's unlikely any of either team's regulars will be in the lineup. Both already scratched their originally scheduled starters.
Pittsburgh Gerrit Cole's was slated to go Sunday, but instead will be saved to come out of the bullpen if needed Tuesday, leaving Brandon Cumpton (1-1, 2.45 ERA) to make his first start since July 20.
In Cumpton's only appearance since he was recalled from the minors earlier this month, he pitched three scoreless innings in last Sunday's 11-3 loss to the Reds. In his second major-league game and start, the right-hander allowed a homer to Bruce and one other run in five innings while not factoring in the decision of a 5-3 win at Cincinnati on June 20.
With the Reds deciding to start Johnny Cueto on Tuesday instead of Sunday, they hand the ball to Greg Reynolds (1-2, 5.55) for his fifth start of the season. The right-hander most recently gave up two runs in 3 2-3 innings of a 6-5, 13-inning win at Houston on Sept. 18.
In his only previous appearance against the Pirates, Reynolds allowed two runs and three hits in six innings while not factoring in the decision of a 6-4 victory for Colorado in 2011.
|Last Updated: 9/19/2014 6:53:50 AM EST|