Cardinals vs. Reds: RHP Lance Lynn vs. RHP Johnny Cueto

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St. Louis Cardinals (80-66) vs. Cincinnati Reds (69-77)

RHP Lance Lynn (15-8, 2.80 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, .242 OAV) vs. RHP Johnny Cueto (17-8, 2.23 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, .196 OAV)

Thursday, September 11, 2014: 12:35 p.m. at Great American Ball Park

* * *

On most ball clubs, with the numbers Lance Lynn has put up in 2014, he would be considered the ace. Thanks to the presence of Adam Wainwright, Lynn is a much under-appreciated number two (or even number three to Michael Wacha).

Say what you will about Lynn’s run support, but all he does is win. With a career mark of 49-26 (.653 winning percentage), he fits the bill of being one of the rare starters who creates his own luck.

Not surprisingly, those statistics carry over in his history against the Reds. All three starts against the club have wound up as victories for him this year, but he is 6-1 in his career in nine starts. Striking out better than a batter per inning, Lynn’s ERA also creeps above the four mark, indicating that it doesn’t hurt to have one of the best offenses in baseball at your back.

Here is the lineup he will face via the team’s Twitter account:

CF – Billy Hamilton (1-for-9, 1 RBI, 4 K’s)

LF – Jason Bourgeois (yet to face Lynn)

1B – Todd Frazier (3-for-20, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB’s, 10 K’s)

RF – Jay Bruce (11-for-22, 1 2B, 2 3B’s, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 2 BB’s, 6 K’s)

2B – Brandon Phillips (8-for-26, 2 2B’s, 5 RBI, 6 K’s)

C – Brayan Pena (2-for-6)

3B – Ramon Santiago (2-for-4, 1 BB, 1 K)

SS – Zack Cozart (6-for-26, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K’s)

P – Johnny Cueto (0-for-2)

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No pitcher in the National League has affected games more than Johnny Cueto. Leading the league in not only innings pitched, but also batters faced, Cueto has re-defined what it means to be a workhorse.

Of all the things Johnny Beisbol has done this year, beating the St. Louis Cardinals is not one of them. Losing on Opening Day 1-0, and then being smacked around the yard on August 20, Thursday will be his last chance to beat the Redbirds at home.

You’ve heard the rhetoric before: it’s Johnny Cueto, it’s a day game, and the opposition does not have much of a chance. That’s because in 14 afternoon starts in 2014, Cueto has lost only twice (once was Opening Day against St. Louis), to the tune of a 1.67 ERA. Striking out much better than a batter per inning (114 K’s in 102.1 innings), it’s not so much that Cueto wins often in the day, it’s that he dominates.

Here is the lineup he will face via the team’s Twitter account:

3B – Matt Carpenter (2-for-9, 1 2B, 2 K’s)

CF – Jon Jay (12-for-23, 1 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K’s)

LF – Matt Holliday (10-for-32, 4 2B’s, 6 RBI, 5 BB’s, 6 K’s)

1B – Matt Adams (2-for-5, 1 2B, 1 BB)

SS – Jhonny Peralta (3-for-14, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K’s)

RF – Oscar Taveras (1-for-2, 1 BB)

C – A.J. Pierzynski (1-for-7, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K’s)

2B – Kolten Wong (0-for-2, 1 BB, 1 K)

P – Lance Lynn (0-for-2, 1 BB, 1 K)

* * *

Getting underway early with a 12:35 p.m. start, the Cardinals and the Reds will be one of the first games played on 9/11. One of the darkest days in our nation’s illustrious history will attempt to be brightened by the beauty of the country’s greatest, and most beloved sport. No matter which side you cheer for, today (and always really), we are all Americans.