The 24 year old Sampson has had a rough intorduction to the league. He was claimed off waivers by the Reds from the Padres earlier in the year and has been in-and-out of the rotation. Sampson is 0-2 v the Bucs in three outings; he's given up eight runs in 11-1/3 IP, although he has punched out an even dozen, so he does have some swing-and-miss stuff, particularly his hook. The games starts at 7:05 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
Clint's sending out the A Team in search of a couple more wins. The Reds have lost 12 in a row, but beware - the hidden vigorish suggests that they're due to win one sometime, and they are 10-6 against the Buccos. The magic number for a PNC date against Jake on Wednesday is two, and we're hoping the Bucs aren't looking ahead to that match before TCB now.
- Cutch has reached base safely 25 times in his last 51 plate appearances and in 36 of his last 38 games.
- Frankie is the third Pirate southpaw to notch 200+ K in a season, joining Bob Veale (four times) and Ollie Perez.
- Pittsburgh’s bullpen ERA of 2.70 is the lowest in the majors, and the club’s 30 wins in relief rank second behind the Cubs 37.
- The Pirates are 51-27 at home in 2015, the third straight year they've reached the 50-win mark at PNC Park.
- A victory tonight would give the Bucs 97 wins for the seventh time in franchise history and for the first time since 1992's club won 98 times.
- Pittsburgh made a late run at the division, but are guaranteed a losing record against every team in it. They're 6-10 v Cincy, so a sweep still won't get them to .500, and finished 9-10 v St. Louis, 8-11 v Chicago & 9-10 v Milwaukee.
- Cincinnati’s pitching staff has allowed an average of seven runs per game during the last 10 games. The all-rookie staff will have tossed 65 consecutive games by the end of the series. The price? Cincy has clinched last place in the NL Central, the first time they've finished on the bottom of a division since 1983.
- On the other side of the pillow, Joey Votto has reached safely in 47 straight games, leaving him one shy of tying Pete Rose’s modern era Reds record set in 1978.