Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates Series Preview


Following their win over the Brewers last night, the Cincinnati Reds avoided being swept by Milwaukee and will continue their 10-game home stand with a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates. This will be the fifth series between these two this year and they’re scheduled for one more. There was a bit of hostility the last time they met back in August that resulted in a benches-clearing (almost) brawl. After the dust had settled, a total of five players were ejected, including Joey Votto and Marlon Byrd from the Reds.

Game 1
9/7 1:10 p.m. EST
PIT: Jeff Locke (7-9, 4.66)
CIN: Anthony DeSclafani (7-10, 3.87)

DeSclafani is getting the start for the Reds, his fourth against the Pirates this year, and has yet to earn a win against Pittsburgh going 0-1 with two no-decisions. DeSclafani has held the Pirates to a combined .262 batting average and a .707 OPS, but will have to be careful when facing Pedro Alvarez and Jordy Mercer, both of whom are 4-for-9 against DeSclafani. The rookie starter has found success against the 2013 NL MVP, and has only allowed one hit in six at-bats against Andrew McCutchen, with one strikeout.

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The Reds will be facing Locke for the fourth time this year and have hit .280/.358/.424 off the Pirates lefty. Todd Frazier has found the most success against Locke, hitting .391 with one double and two home runs.

Game 2
7:10 p.m. EST
PIT: Francisco Liriano (9-7, 3.40)
CIN: Raisel Iglesias (3-6, 3.81)

The Reds will be facing Liriano for just the second time this year; they first met on opening day in a 5-2 Reds win. Liriano earned a no-decision in that game, pitching seven innings and allowing two runs. Reds batters have not hit well off of Liriano, a pitiful .218/.317/.358. Brennan Boesch, however, has been able to hit off Liriano, going 6-for-13 with 2 extra base hits. Frazier has hit just .250 against Liriano, but has played long ball twice.

Iglesias will be starting for the Reds and will be facing the Pirates for the second time this year. In that game, Iglesias pitched 6 2/3, allowed two runs and earned a win. Iglesias kept the Pirates at bay in that start, and only allowed four hits in 22 at-bats.

Game 3
7:10 p.m. EST
PIT: J.A. Happ (8-7, 3.90)
CIN: Keyvius Sampson (2-3, 6.68)

Happ is taking the mound for the Pirates and will be facing the Reds for the first time this year but hasn’t had much luck against Cincinnati in the past. Brandon Phillips has gone 7-for-14 with three home runs and seven RBIs, and Joey Votto has gone 7-for-16 with three doubles against Happ.

The Reds’ Wednesday starter was originally in doubt because of the rainout on Friday, but since Sampson’s outing was cut short due to rain, he gets the start. Sampson went six innings and struck out eight, while allowing three runs on three hits in his first career start against the Pirates.

Next: Who plays LF for Reds in 2016?