The Reds close out their 9-game home stand tonight with a chance to go 6 games over .500 on the season, matching their highest number of games over .500 so far this year. A win would also mean that the Reds will be just a half-game out of 2nd place behind the Milwaukee Brewers, the team they face this coming weekend.
Oh, and a win will also mean the first home sweep of the Houston Astros since the Reds took all 4 games of the series back in May of 2004. Not too shabby for a team that had lost 15 of 16 to the Astros at home coming into this season.
Taking the mound for the Reds tonight will be right-hander Bronson Arroyo, who, as we all know, is starting to go on a Goodroyo cycle. He's allowed just 4 runs and 11 hits over his last 15 innings pitched. He probably shouldn't pitch against anyone in the Astros lineup though. Miguel Tejada, Hunter Pence, Carlos Lee, and Lance Berkman all have an OPS over 1.000 against Arroyo, which explains why he's 6-6 with a 5.49 ERA against them.
Somehow the Reds have managed to find Felipe Paulino in the rotation again. So far this year, the Reds have faced Paulino twice and managed just 2 runs and a .220/.304/.293 batting line against him. The rest of the league is batting .410/.495.614 against Paulino this year. Obviously, when the Reds first faced him, many of their hitters were struggling, which is not the case these days. Let's hope that the combination of Paulino's struggles and the Reds improvements mean a big night for the offense.
There is some rain in the area once again this evening. No word yet on how it will affect the 7:10 game time.