Trying for a Split


Well, Charlie Morton sure kept the Reds bats at bay for a second time this season. Back-to-back complete games and this latest outing produced a shutout. Here’s hoping that today (12:35 PM start time) is the beginning of another streak.

The Bucs will go with James McDonald today while Dusty and the Reds will rely on Johnny Cueto. Here’s a quick peek at the pitchers and today’s starting lineups…

McDonald is 2-3 with a 6.20 ERA on the season. His career record against the Reds is 1-1 with a 6.48 ERA. McDonald at GABP is 1-1, 8.53 ERA. In looking at the last two general stats, it appears that it’s either hit or miss with McDonald. But McDonald away from PNC is a tougher order for the Pirates as he is 1-3 and the owner of a 9.41 ERA. At home, McDonald is a vastly different pitcher going 1-0 with a 2.41 ERA. Um…this is a road game for the Bucs.

And the last time McDonald pitched at GABP, he was lit up for 7 rins (6 earned) in an 11-2 Reds win. His line: 4.1 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO and 2 HR (Hernandez and Gomes).

Here’s how McDonald has performed against the Reds batters…

Here’s the Reds lineup for today…

1. Chris Heisey (R) CF
2. Edgar Renteria (R) SS
3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
4. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
5. Jay Bruce (L) RF
6. Miguel Cairo (R) 3B
7. Fred Lewis (L) LF
8. Ramon Hernandez (R) C
9. Johnny Cueto (R) P

Small samples on the pitcher vs. batter, yes. Interesting to note that despite that small sample that Johnny Gomes is giving way to Fred Lewis in left. It’s a matchup thing and it’s something we will hear from now until the end of the season. We should be kind of used to that from Dusty because that is pretty much how the catching position goes.

As for the Reds starter Johnny Cueto, he really likes facing the Pirates: 9-2 with a 2.62 ERA lifetime. Added his past success in facing Pittsburgh with the fact that Cueto has slightly resembled an “ace” and you do have the materials to construct a Reds win.He has yet to allow an earned run this season in 13.2 innings. Okay, maybe getting a bit carried away on the “ace” stuff, but I do not feel it’s that far fetched…

Here’s the lineup for the Pirates for today’s tilt…

1. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
2. Xavier Paul (L) LF
3. Garrett Jones (L) RF
4. Neil Walker (S) 2B
5. Lyle Overbay (L) 1B
6. Ryan Doumit (S) C
7. Pedro Alvarez (L) 3B
8. Ronny Cedeno (R) SS
9. James McDonald (L) P

And how Cueto performs against the Pirates…

Unlike last night, Andrew McCutchen does pretty good against Cueto (going into last evening, McCutchen had never gotten a hit off Bronson Arroyo until his home run). And do you believe that a .300+ batting average and Ronny Cedeno are on the same stat line? And as we learned yesterday, Cedeno is hot and he also was 2-4 last night.

In looking at everything, I have come to a couple of conclusions: This should be a Reds win (based on McDonald’s and Cueto’s career in facing the other team) and it could be a high scoring affair (current Reds +.300 v. McDonald and Bucs just shy of .300 v. Cueto).