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Game 10 Thread: Reds at Astros

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Cincinnati Reds
@ Houston Astros

Saturday, Apr 18, 2009, 7:05 PM EDT
Minute Maid Park

Aaron Harang vs Wandy Rodriguez

Mostly cloudy,rain. Game time temperature around 75.

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2009 - Aaron Harang 1-1 0.64 0.93 11 3

2009 - Wandy Rodriguez 0-1 3.00 1.25 8 6

I'd say this is a pretty good pitching match-up, but with the way these two offenses are performing this season, this is an excellent pitching match-up. Of course, now that I say that we'll probably see a 10-9 ballgame.

The Reds offense has been quiet the last couple of games, managing just 5 runs. Outside of Gonzalez, Hernandez, and Bruce, they're still doing a pretty good job of getting on base, but the lack of hits from anyone not named Votto is making it hard for them to score runs. They may have a hard time with a tough lefty on the mound, but I think it if they can continue to be patient, they can get to Rodriguez for a couple of runs. With the way Harang has been pitching, that may be enough.

Rodriguez is a fastball, curveball, change-up pitcher who mixes up his pitches well. His fastball sits around 89 MPH most of the time, but he doesn't rely on it too much as he throws his curveball and change up quite frequently. Even though he is left-handed, Rodriguez had more success against righties last year. He held right-handers to a .689 OPS in 2008, while lefties posted an .811 OPS, albeit in just one-third of the plate appearances. I wouldn't suspect that that is a normal trend for him though as historically he's been pretty even on both righties and lefties.

Harang is coming off of the best start the Reds have seen in a long while - a 3-hit, 9 strikeout complete game shutout of the Pirates last Sunday. That start is hopefully just a signal of things to come from Harang this season. He appears to be healthy and if he can stay that way, he should be the bedrock of the rotation all season. And when he's on, he's easily my favorite pitcher to watch. Volquez and Cueto have electric stuff, but I'll take Harang hitting his spots all day and night. It's a thing of beauty. Hopefully we'll see it again tonight.