Happy Easter, everybody! May your eggs today be filled with lots of chocolate and a Reds win!
This week hasn't exactly gone as we were hoping, has it? The pitching and defense has been less than expected. The offense has scored some runs, but has also looked dismal at times. The HAVOC has been surprisingly lacking. And the wins, well, we've only seen one of them.
Aaron Harang tries to fix all of that that today as he takes the mound against Ian Snell. Harang is 11-5 with a 4.29 ERA in 20 career starts against the Pirates. He had one bad start against them last season that was 4 days after his relief appearance in San Diego. Other than that, he handled them fairly well in 2008.
Of the current roster, Harang hates to face Adam LaRoche (1.027 OPS) and Ryan Doumit (1.033 OPS), but could go up against Freddy Sanchez (.497 OPS) all day. In nearly 200 plate appearances against Harang, the current crop of Pirates has a combined batting line of .249/.289/.452, so if he can keep the ball in the park, he usually triumpsh over the Buccos.
On the other side, the Reds have loved to face Ian Snell during his career. He's just 4-6 with a 5.21 ERA against the Reds. However, a lot of that damage came prior to 2008, as Snell had a quality start in 3 of his 4 starts against the Reds in 2008. Then again, that was all before the Reds acquired Willy Taveras, who has a career .556/.600/.722 line against Snell in 20 plate appearances. In fact, just about every current Red outside of Brandon Phillips (.634 OPS) and Edwin Encarnacion (.586 OPS) beat up on Snell. The current roster has a combined line of .368/.431/.491 against Snell in 132 PAs.
I feel good about this game, but then that just might be the 5 chocolate eggs I've eaten so far this morning.