St. Louis Cardinals
@ Cincinnati Reds
Friday, Jul 3, 2009, 7:10 PM EDT
Great American Ball Park
Joel Pineiro vs Homer Bailey
Partly cloudy. Game time temperature around 80.
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Thom Brennaman was saying in yesterday's game that it's hard to overstate the importance of tonight's start for Homer Bailey. I have to say that I agree with him. The Cardinals are tied for first with the Brewers and the Reds are just 2 games back. A series win won't necessarily put the Reds in first, but it is still an absolute must. Winning tonight makes a series win that much easier.
Oh, and the game is sold out.
No pressure, Homer, but the Reds really need you to be on your game tonight. Hopefully you've got that splitter working.
Pitcher Witch Dave Duncan has worked his magic once again with Joel Pineiro. Somehow, Pineiro has managed to put together some good numbers despite striking out just 3.8 batters per 9 IP. The main cause for his success is his league leading walk-rate (1.1 BB/9) and home run rate (0.3 HR/9). So, it's probably not a good idea to sit around waiting for a walk or a 3-run home run. Thankfully, that's not this team's forte.
The good thing going for the Reds as they head into this series is that the Cardinals' offense hasn't been doing much lately either. Over their last 11 games, they've managed just 2.5 R/G. What's truly amazing about that is that Albert Pujols has been batting .375/.545/.875 during those 11 games. The lesson here is that if you are going to pitch to Pujols, you better not let anybody else get on base in front of him.
This is about the 5th HUGE series for the Reds so far this year, and I can't think of a single time that they have stepped up and performed in those situations. This would be an opportunte time to finally step up. It's a holiday weekend and they are going to have some big crowds. Sounds like a great time to energize the fans and the city, doesn't it?