Saturday, September 21, 2013

AJ v Homer

AJ Burnett (8-11, 3.43) and Homer Bailey (11-10, 3.40) do battle tonight. AJ was giving the Reds glares like he was Judge Roy Bean from the dugout last night after Cutch was beaned, and hopefully that will just fuel him for today's game. Homer has won six in a row and he owns the Bucs, especially at PNC. He's 5-0 with a 1.48 ERA, tossing a no-hitter, three complete games and a pair of shutouts here.

The game starts at 7:05 and will be on the MLB Network, Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan. The Pirate bats have stirred the past couple of games, but we'll see how they recover from losing a pair of ninth inning leads in three days. Just to make it interesting, rain is predicted today. With the Steeler game tomorrow night and the potential for a parking nightmare, the guess is that they'd make it up on Thursday, when both teams are off. EDIT - It is supposed to quit by game time, so hopefully it's a moot point.

Pirate lineup: Jose Tabata 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.

JT is starting; good move.

Reds lineup: Derek Robinson CF, Brandon Phillips 2b, Joey Votto 1b, Ryan Ludwick LF, Jay Bruce RF, Zack Cozart SS, Jack Hannahan 3b, Ryan Hanigan C and Homer Bailey P.

Choo is out; he jammed his thumb sliding into first last night.

  • Everyone that counts in the NL's wild card/NLC division race but Pittsburgh won yesterday. St. Louis is two up on Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, both of which share the magic #4 to eliminate Washington with eight games to go.
  • Ouch! The Pirates have been hit by a pitch a MLB leading 83 times this season, including 12 times by Cincinnati pitchers in 14 meetings.
  • Pittsburgh is looking to win 50 home games for the 17th time in club history since 1887 and for the first time since going 53-28 in 1992.
  • Karen Price of the Tribune Review wrote that AJ is still undecided on retirement. His decision will have a sizable impact on the Bucs' off-season wish list.
  • BTW, Andrew McCutchen had been hit by pitches nine times this year, four by the Reds. They're the first team to plunk Cutch more than twice in a season in his career. Three beanings have been in the first game of a series; during one four-game set at GABP, he was hit in the first and last contest.

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