Reds/Pirates Game 1 Preview and Game Thread – 4/12/13


As has been pointed out more than once on BRM within the past 24 hours, yesterday’s day off for the Good Guys was a day off they sorely needed. Yes, 10-0 is a bitter pill to force down. And in case you’re wondering, no one in Redsland is happy that the drubbing came at the hands of the Cardinals.

Now the Reds will visit Pittsburgh and PNC Park to take on the offensive-deficient Pirates. Why do I say offensive-deficient? All you have to do is look at the NL batting stats.

(Side note: According to, there’s actually a chance it might not rain when the Reds are in town. But we all know how weather can go…)

Yes, the 2013 season is only 9 games old, but the Buccos have displayed issues with putting the bat on the ball. In comparing the Reds, Pirates and the NL averages, you will see.

Stats taken from Baseball Reference.

Only the Miami Marlins have scores less runs than the Pirates. Pittsburgh is also last in the NL in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging and tied with the Marlins for last in home runs.

Tonight’s Probables:

March 5, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake (44) throws against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning during a spring training game. Photo Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Reds: Mike Leake
2013: 0-0, 6.00 ERA, 1.667 WHIP
Career v. PIT: 2-3, 3.20, 1.237
Career @ PNC Park: 0-3, 2.68, 1.189
Last appearance v. PIT: 9/29/12 – ND)

There was already a local sport talk radio personality wondering aloud (actually, on Twitter, go fig) as to how short a leash Leake is on considering the success in which Tony Cingrani has had in his first two starts in Louisville. It’s two starts…at Triple-A. Prior to this season, Cingrani has not pitched at that level. Are we now rushing him as some want to do with Billy Hamilton now? Sheesh…

After last night, I dare say the Los Angeles Dodgers might be willing to look at Leake. They dealt former Red Aaron Harang. I doubt the Dodgers would be the only team in that boat, too.

Pirates batters v. Leake

Leake had five starts against the Pirates last season. The Reds were 2-3 in those games while Leake was 1-1 with the win coming at GABP.

Apr 6, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Burnett (34) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning at Dodger Stadium. Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Pirates: A.J. Burnett
2013: 0-2, 3.27 ERA, 1.364 WHIP
Career v. CIN: 5-5, 4.06, 1.301
Career @ PNC Park: 9-8, 3.07, 1.222
Last appearance v. CIN: 9/28/12 – L)

In case you’re wondering, that loss that Burnett was tagged with last September was facing Homer Bailey when Bailey tossed his no-no. Last season, Burnett kept the Reds in check. His record may have been 3-2, but he held the Reds to a triple slash of .186/.254/.237. Burnett never allowed more than three runs in any outing and in both losses, the final scores were 2-1 and 1-0. I would dare say he was pretty successful against the Reds last season.

Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle did keep Burnett on his “normal” rest, so that would be why the Pirates probables for this series sits as it does.

Reds batters v. Burnett

Starting lineups:

The first question that will pop out of any Reds fans mouth (or tweet) will be the “absence” of Todd Frazier. Nothing on Twitter (as of this writing) as to why no ToddFather. I can only speculate that give him another day off. We know Dusty likes to do those kind of things. No surprise that Mes gets the nod as Leake is pitching.

For Clint Hurdle’s Pirates, not shocked at this lineup either. Having Jones at first and Snider in right against Leake is the exact thing to do since lefties hit him a little better than righties (.283 v. LHB, .268 v. RHB). That all out, Leake does have roughly the same SO% and BB% regardless if it’s a lefty (163 SO and 67 BB in 1,040 PA) or righty (166 SO and 65 BB in 1,042 PA) at the dish.

Game time is 7:05 PM ET.

Almost forgot…

Why do I have this on here? Apparently, there’s chatter in PGH about a bench-clearing brawl. You know, getting back because of when Chappy nailed Cutch last season. A move the Buccos thought was intentional. I’ve read a coupe of Pirates fans tweets. One said they should worry about winning. Another stated that since it happened last season, it’s over.

Agree with tweet #1, dispute tweet #2. The above video is clear evidence as to why you never know when retaiation will occur. Greinke popped Quentin when Greinke was a Royal and Quentin was a member of the White Sox. The incident took place in 2009.

Completely stupid and unnecessary.