Monday, June 4, 2012

Reds vs. Pirates series preview

After their second day off in a week (seems like the Reds are dogging it after 20 straight days with a game), Cincy welcomes in Pittsburgh to GABP. Ah, the Pirates, it seems like they’re an old friend with as much as these two teams have played lately. Let’s check out the pitching match-ups, shall we?

Tuesday, 7:10
Homer Bailey (4-3, 3.73) vs. A.J. Burnett (4-2, 3.60)

If these two guys pitch anything like their last times out, runs will be at an ultimate premium on Tuesday night. Then again, it’s at GABP and we can never expect such things, can we?

Anyway, Bailey was spectacular against the Pirates last week in perhaps his best start as a Red. If not ever, then certainly this season. He went the distance, allowing only four hits, easily helping the Reds to an 8-1 win. He loves seeing the Pirates – in eight games, Bailey is 6-0 with a 1.79 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.

Burnett, on the other hand, completely stymied the Reds in his last turn with seven innings of two-hit ball. Other than one ultimately ugly outing (12 ER) at St. Louis last month, the former Marlin, Blue Jay and Yankee has not surrendered more than two earned runs all year. He’s been great for the Buccos.

Wednesday, 7:10
Johnny Cueto (5-3, 2.54) vs. Brad Lincoln (3-0, 1.04)

We’ve been over this before with Cueto – pencil him in against the Pirates and he’s money. Give him a couple of runs and you usually can bank on Marty saying “This one belongs to the Reds” at the end of the game. He was good again last week at PNC Park, allowing two runs in seven innings, but the offense didn’t hold its end of the deal and the Reds lost. All-time, he’s 11-4 with a 2.55 ERA in 106 innings vs. the Pirates.

Lincoln is filling in for the injured Charlie Morton in the Pirates rotation, which is unfortunate because the Reds have defeated Morton twice already this year. He has 18 starts as a major leaguer out of his 37 appearances lifetime in the bigs, but just one so far this year.

Thursday, 7:10
Mike Leake (2-5, 4.95) vs. Kevin Correia (2-5, 4.19)

Following Leake has been like riding a rollercoaster lately. Just when you think he’s put it together, he’ll be awful. Just when you think he’s headed for Louisville, he’ll paint a gem. Well, he was very good in his last outing (seven innings, one run at Houston) and poor in his last home outing against the Rockies. Still, he hasn’t had a real cluncker since a six-run outing on May 11 vs. Washington. Outside of one brilliant start vs. Atlanta, though, he’s been horrible at home – a 5.92 ERA.

The Reds hitters have had a history of success against Correia – seven batters on the roster have hit .300 or better against him. Despite an ERA over 4 against the Redlegs, though, Correia has somehow posted a 7-2 record against them. 

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