Hey, nice way to end the season, but sorta anti-climatic. Home field is a big advantage, but to us, this series is pretty much a filler until Tuesday night and the play-in contest; that's the big game. And if you recall, both road teams (St. Louis @ Atlanta & Baltimore @ Texas) won last year's one-and-done games, so being in front of the faithful in a one-game, winner take all isn't a necessarily a ticket to ride.
The game starts at 7:10 and will be aired on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
Pirate lineup: Starling Marte LF, Neil Walker 2b, Andrew McCutchen CF, Justin Morneau 1b, Marlon Byrd RF, Pedro Alvarez 3b, Russ Martin C, Clint Barmes SS and AJ Burnett P.
Reds lineup: Shin-Soo Choo CF, Ryan Ludwick LF, Joey Votto 1b, Brandon Phillips 2b, Jay Bruce RF, Todd Frazier 3b, Zack Cozart SS, Ryan Hanigan C and Homer Bailey P.
Not too surprisingly, it's the big boy lineups for both teams.
- This is AJ's last shot at 10 wins; he's gone eight straight seasons with double-digit victories.
- Cutch’s 59 multi-hit games this season are the most by a Pirate since Freddy Sanchez had 60 while winning the batting title in 2006.
- Dave Cameron of Fangraphs has an idea for the playoff game: start Francisco Liriano, give him three or four innings, and let the bullpen finish.
- The NL Central has three teams with at least 90 wins for the first time since the division was created in 1994. It's the first time a NL division has had three 90+ winners since 2002 in the NL West.
- This vid is ESPN's Baseball Today breakdown of the Buc-Reds series.
- What are the Buccos worth to the town? The Pittsburgh Business Times' guess: "Ticket sales and related spending for the team's 81 home games meant more than $199 million to the region's economy." President Frank Coonelly says the team makes every effort to spend locally.
- Mike Petriello of Fangraphs wonders if all Vic Black needs is an opportunity.
- Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors thinks that FA Nate McLouth is in line for a 2 year, $10M deal during the off season.