This will be the 4th time Homer Bailey has started against the Pirates in his career. All 4 starts have come in the last 43 days. It's amazing to me how often the Reds and Pirates have faced each other in the last month and a half. That should be one reason why we don't want to get overly optimistic about the Reds play of late. As for Bailey, he's actually pitched worse against the Pirates than he against the rest of the teams he's faced in his recent lights out stretch. Of the 11 runs he's allowed in the last 52.1 innings he's pitched, 6 have come against the Pirates in 19.1 innings. That means his ERA is 1.36 in his last 5 starts against teams that aren't the Pirates.
That's not to say that he hasn't pitched well against the Pirates. He is 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA, but he also only has 12 strikeouts against 10 walks in those starts. He did a good job keeping his walks down in his last start against the Cardinals (just 1 walk in 7 innings). If he can keep improving on his control, he will be a major force to be reckoned with in the future.
Last game of the regular season for everyone (except maybe the Twins and Tigers) today. The Reds have given us some hope for the future with their play over the last month, but I'm sure once we turn a critical eye back to the team this off-season, we'll see that there are plenty of holes to be filled. Even still, it made the end of the season much more enjoyable than it would have been if we were watching a race to 100 losses. All in all, if the Reds can pull off a win today, a 78-win season ain't too bad given where they were just a month and a half ago.