The Cincinnati Reds (14-13) are looking to sweep their season record to 6-0 against the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates (12-15). In their last eight games, the Pirates are 1-7 and have scored just 15 runs.
After allowing just six walks in his first four starts (26 innings), DeSclafani walked five Braves in his five inning start last week. DeSclafani’s ony start against Pittsburgh was his debut in a Reds uniform on April 9th. He allowed two runs over six innings, struck out six and walked just one batter. Overall, he starts today’s game with a 2.03 ERA and 0.94 WHIP.
While A.J. Burnett (1.45 ERA, 1.16 WHIP) leads Pirates starters in ERA, he has an 0-1 pitching record thanks to his team scoring just seven runs over his first five starts. The only game in which he allowed more than one run was on April 9th in Cincinnati. In that contest, he allowed two runs on a Joey Votto homerun, walked just one batter and struck out seven over 5.1 innings. In his four starts since then, he has pitched at least six innings in each contest and allowed three total runs.
The Reds lineup is the same as the past two games with Brayan Pena back behind the plate.
- Billy HamiltonÃ‚Â (S) CF
- Marlon ByrdÃ‚Â (R) LF
- Joey VottoÃ‚Â (L) 1B
- Todd FrazierÃ‚Â (R) 3B
- Brandon PhillipsÃ‚Â (R) 2B
- Jay BruceÃ‚Â (L) RF
- Kristopher NegronÃ‚Â (R) SS
- Brayan PenaÃ‚Â (S) C
- Anthony DeSclafaniÃ‚Â (R) P
The batting lineup for the Pirates:
- Gregory PolancoÃ‚Â (L) RF
- Neil WalkerÃ‚Â (S) 2B
- Andrew McCutchenÃ‚Â (R) CF
- Starling MarteÃ‚Â (R) LF
- Pedro AlvarezÃ‚Â (L) 1B
- Josh HarrisonÃ‚Â (R) 3B
- Jordy MercerÃ‚Â (R) SS
- Chris StewartÃ‚Â (R) C
- A.J. BurnettÃ‚Â (R) P
Joey Votto took responsibility for his actions in touching home plate umpire Chris Conroy.
“I feel like as a Major League player, I have a responsibility to be a good example for younger players,” Votto said. “And making contact with an umpire is unacceptable. During this entire thing, that’s the one thing I feel very remorseful for. I think it was something that just crossed the line. Just because I have a verbal disagreement with someone, doesn’t make it OK to have physical contact with someone.
“In all of this, that’s the thing I regret the most, and I’m not happy about it. As Major League players, we have a responsibility to keep everything … we can push the limits as much as we want, but never cross that line.”
LOOK, UP IN THE SKY
It’s Marlon Byrd continuing to hit the ball with authority. As noted yesterday, Byrd was hitting a .115/.130/.135 (AVG/OBP/SLG) slash line through April 22nd (14 games). With a BABIP of just .167, which is 158 points below his career average, things were bound to turn around sooner or later. In his 11 games since April 22nd, Byrd’s slash line is .325/.372/.750 with his BABIP returning to his normal .333 average. He won’t keep up this ridiculous homerun rate, but he’s not going to hit like the player we saw the first two weeks of the season either.
ALL-STAR COMMUNITY LEGACY
Major League Baseball and the Reds announced details yesterday of a new annual community legacy effort for the Cincinnati area:
The All-Star summer community effort will consist of a range of renovation projects that will leave a lasting impact within communities of Greater Cincinnati and beyond. It features the contribution of nearly $5 million toward national charitable programs and local projects, including nine area youth baseball field renovations.
The various legacy projects are designed to positively affect the lives of local veterans and underserved youth, and they will place a focus on improving the well-being of local citizens. The overall effort will also go toward supporting cancer research, highlighting the importance of environmental consciousness and complementing the midsummer baseball celebration.
RADIO BOOTH RESCUE
The Milwaukee Brewers are having all sorts of trouble this season. Most recently, Bob Uecker and the Brewers radio team became trapped in the Miller Park booth during last night’s Brewers-Dodgers game. Don’t worry…they made it out okay.
We are getting saved in the booth. pic.twitter.com/3GInvWOm6s
— Jeff Levering (@JLevering4) May 7, 2015
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It’s time to sweep the Pirates again and put more distance between themselves and fourth place. The Reds could actually jump into second place with a win tonight and head to Chicago needing just one win against the White Sox to secure a winning road trip.