Pitchers: Ryan Vogelsong (3-5, 4.67) opens the set against Robert Stephenson (2-1, 4.43). Vogey has been beaten up pretty badly in his last three starts, tossing 13 IP and giving up 16 earned runs, 20 hits (three have left the yard) and seven walks. Ryan's last start was against the Reds, and they put up a six-spot in four frames against him. He's traditionally had bad numbers against them, slashing 5-6/4.81 in 22 career outings (12 starts) against Cincy. The 23 year-old Stephenson was a Top 35 Prospect heading into the season and will be making his fifth MLB start. He was chewed up by the Bucs in the last Reds series, so this has the potential to become a bullpen battle of attrition, just what neither manager wants with a twin bill on tap tomorrow.
|V-Song will try for reversal of fortune tonight (photo via mlb.com)|
Lineup: John Jaso 1B, Josh Bell RF, Cutch CF, Gregory Polanco LF, Jung Ho Kang 3B, S-Rod 2B, Fran Cervelli C, Jordy SS, V-Song P. Starling is still out. It was hoped he'd be back today, but Clint said maybe he'll get into one of tomorrow's contests.
Preview: The Reds took 3-of-4 in Pittsburgh during the series that ended on Sunday, and despite some murderer's row stuff yesterday, the Buccos are still just 4-of-14 in September. Cincinnati has gone 30-26 since the All-Star break, including winning five of its last six games. The Pirates are 7-8 this season against the Reds and 2-3 at Great American Ball Park. It'd be nice if the Corsairs got on a roll after yesterday's romp, but with the way the pitching and the lineup have been all over the lot lately, it's hard to see them having the consistency to string some wins together. With just 17 games left - and after the upcoming Brewer set, they face the Nats, Cubs and Cards - that 5-1/2 game gap for the last wildcard is a yawning abyss.
- Baseball America likes SS Kevin Newman, 2015's #1 pick.
- The Dominican Winter League held its draft and five Pirates prospects were selected. The DWL runs from mid-October to late December and offers the young guns a chance to showcase what they got.
- Ex-Bucco Keon Braxton of the Brewers broke his wrist today running into the wall at Wrigley.
- Tampa Bay called up old Pirates OF'er Jaff Decker to replace the injured Logan Morrison.