The Reds will aim for a winning homestand this weekend when they welcome the Milwaukee Brewers to town. But to do so they will have to sweep the three-game set after dropping two out of the first three games of this homestand to the Atlanta Braves. Easier said than done, right?
Friday's affair will pit surging rookie Tony Cingrani against Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo. It figures to be a pitcher's duel if the weather can cooperate because the Cincinnati area is expecting some thunderstorms this evening. Let's hope we can get this contest in before the heavens open up.
In the meantime, enjoy some notes and quotes...
+ The Brewers are absolutely struggling lately. They have lost six of their past seven games albeit to the likes of Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Texas.
+ Cincinnati has the most home wins (13) of any team in the majors. Conversely, Milwaukee's five road wins are tied for the fewest in the league with the Mets and Marlins.
+ The Reds enter the weekend with sole possession of second place in the division standings. They trail St. Louis by three full games. Meanwhile, the Brewers are fourth and reside five and a half games back.
+ Cincy won the 2012 season series, 9-6, including a 7-2 mark at home.
+ Milwaukee's team ERA of 4.50 ranks dead last in the league.
+ This series will feature four of the top six National League players in regards to on-base percentage. Shin-Soo Choo (.453) leads the league, followed by Joey Votto (.451) in second, Carlos Gomez (.431) is fourth, and Ryan Braun (.413) is sixth.
+ Brandon Phillips is only one RBI off the National League lead. He has 29 RBI. Arizona's Paul Goldschimdt is currently sitting with 30.
+ Johnny Cueto threw 50 pitches (37 strikes) in a three inning outing for Single-A Dayton Thursday night. It was his first rehab start since going on the disabled list on April 15. He is expected to make an 80-pitch rehab start next Tuesday.
+ Reds minor league pitcher Daniel Tuttle has been suspended 100 games for a third violation of the league's drug abuse program.
+ Here is a nice story written by Mark Sheldon about Sam LeCure and the bond he shares with his mother. Remember, Mother's Day is on Sunday.
+ Will Mike Leake be the odd man out once Cueto returns to the rotation? It sure seems that way. Thus, the Reds may be looking to trade the young right-hander. Could the Phillies be a fit? [Yahoo! Sports]
+ "It's always fun when you see a team for the first time, like the Reds. They have a little different lineup than last year, so we'll see how it plays out."
[Gallardo on facing the Reds]
+ "It didn't work. I'm not going to make alibis or whatever when it doesn't work. It's not always going to work."
[Dusty Baker on leaving Mike Leake in to hit Thursday]
+ "It's one of those situations where you're supposed to get the pitcher out, but he's a good-hitting pitcher, so you don't want to leave anything over the plate. I was surprised [they let him hit]. We thought maybe they were trying to do something, but they left him in. That's how much confidence they have in him hitting."
[Braves starter Mike Minor on decision to let Leake hit]