Thursday, May 24, 2012

Reds vs. Rockies series preview

The Reds are riding high as winners of their last six games and having won six of seven against two of the better teams in baseball in the Yankees and Braves. Can they keep things going as the Rockies come to town? The pitching match-ups for the series after the break.

Friday, 7:10
Johnny Cueto (5-1, 1.97) vs. Christian Friedrich (1-1, 5.00)

Cueto is 1-1 in his career against the Rockies over three starts and 16 innings. Cueto ranks third in the NL in ERA, behind only Atlanta’s Brandon Beachy (1.77) and the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (1.90).

Friedrich had started his season on fire, allowing just two earned runs over his first 13 innings of work. Things came crashing back to earth in his last turn, however, as the 2008 first round pick of the Rockies surrendered eight runs, all earned, in a five-inning loss to Seattle.

Saturday, 7:15
Mike Leake (1-5, 5.32) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (2-2, 5.55)

Leake will try to keep his recent momentum going after working eight brilliant innings against Atlanta. Leake has faced Colorado just once – a win, but he allowed 11 hits in seven innings on that day, somehow giving up only two earned runs along the way. Let’s hope he doesn’t try repeating that performance.

A longtime AL hurler, Guthrie has faced the Reds just once in his long career, and has a 1-0 record with a 6.35 ERA in only 5.2 innings. The numbers aren’t pretty this year, but Guthrie has been either very good – or very bad. He has three quality starts including 5.1 scoreless frames at San Francisco and seven one-run innings at Milwaukee back-to-back before allowing six earned against Seattle. He has give up that number of runs three different times this season.

Sunday, 1:10
Mat Latos (3-2, 4.35) vs. Jamie Moyer (2-4, 4.99)

As a former member of the NL West, Latos knows a thing or two about the Rockies – he’s 3-2 lifetime with a 3.44 ERA in six starts. No Colorado player with more than three at-bats against Latos has a better average than .250 against him including stars Troy Tulowitzki (.077) and Carlos Gonzalez (.250).

Meanwhile, the ageless wonder Moyer is looking to bounce back from his worst start of the year – 3.2 innings allowing six runs at Miami. Somehow he only has nine starts against the Reds, one would think he’d have more with his type of longevity. He’s 2-4 lifetime in 39 innings against the Redlegs but as far as his career spans, that doesn’t tell much. Only Brandon Phillips has more than three at-bats (8) against Moyer and he and Ryan Hanigan have homers. Moyer does have three quality starts this year, his last coming at home on May 16 vs. Arizona (6.1 innings, six hits, one run). 

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