Pirates v Reds: Game 1


The Reds will begin a seven-game homestand this evening. The first four games will be a four game, weekend wrap-around series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The remaining three will come against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

A couple of things to get out of the way before we scan over tonight’s pitching match-up.

– All the remaining games on FOX Sports Ohio will be in HD. You can find the schedule here.
– Tonight’s game will kickoff a Reds promo known as “Free Agent Fridays”. More info can be found here.

Now then. Here’s a look at the pitchers for this evenings tilt at GABP.

Pittsburgh Pirates (5-7) v. Cincinnati Reds (8-4)

Pirates: Charlie Morton (season: 1-0, 2.08 EA; career v. Reds: 1-4, 6.34 ERA)

Morton has nice velocity with his pitches. He’s usually in the low to mid 90’s and possesses a two-seam and a four-seam fastball. He also can employ a slider and a curveball as breaking pitches. In his last outing against Colorado, Morton relied heavily on his two-seamer (71 of 92 total pitches). The issue was that he only hit the strike zone with 34 of those 71 pitches and Morton only had three swinging strikes…period.

The Reds have pretty much owned Morton as well. Here’s a look at how he’s fared against the Reds hitters.

We know that Ryan Hanigan will start at catcher this evening as the Reds will counter Morton with Bronson Arroyo. But look at those that have had success against him (Gomes, Phillips, Rolen, Stubbs). Look who does NOT have success…Votto? That one is a bit puzzling, isn’t it? Outside of Hanigan, Votto and Paul Janish, the Reds own Morton. Morton’s career splits against the Reds are even more favorable to the Reds compared to the above table (.326/.396/.450).

Reds: Bronson Arroyo (season: 2-0, 2.08 ERA; career v. Pirates: 6-4, 3.01 ERA)

Now that you’ve seen his career numbers against the Pirates, look at the table of those currently on the Pirates roseter and how they fare against Bronson.

You wonder why he’s only 6-4 when you look at that table. There are a couple of major players for Pittsburgh that Arroyo has not faced: Pedro Alvarez (who is struggling with a .196 BA and 16 SO) and Jose Tabata (who isn’t struggling and batting .302).

Now, here’s Arroyo’s career splits against the Pirates: .229/.300/.302. You could easily surmise that most Arroyo’s success against Pittsburgh has come of recent. You would be correct. Over the past three seasons, Arroyo has only dropped one decision against Pittsburgh (1-0, 2.45 ERA in ’08; 2-0, 0.60 ERA in ’09; 2-1, 2.61 ERA in ’10).

You have to favor the Reds for tonight’s game. Morton throws hard and the Reds possess a few pretty good fastball hitters. Arroyo has held a great track record over the last three season when facing the Pirates.

One last thought: Here at BRM, we recently had a staff member leave the family in John Bell. John came on board last November and provided a view of the Reds and baseball in general that was enjoyable to read. BRM wishes John well in his personal endeavors. If John should desire to return to the staff, rest assured it will be a no-brainer in welcoming him back into the fold. Good luck, John.

If you would like to be a staff member here at BRM, do not hesitate to inquire of the position. We are always willing to take on new staff here and not just when a member leaves the ranks. Simply contact me at blogredmachine@gmail.com and I will be in touch with you.

Almost forget…GO REDS!