The Reds have faced some tough pitchers over their current winning stretch, but Ubaldo Jimenez may be the toughest of the bunch right now. Jimenez has pitched into the 7th inning in 15 of his last 18 starts and he's only allowed more than 3 runs in 3 of those 18 starts. He's been even more dominant since the beginning of August, going 6-1 with a 1.84 ERA, striking out 42 and walking just 16 in 53.2 innings over 7 starts. He's been equally as dominant in his three career starts against the Reds, going 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA, including his most recent start against them on August 1st when he pitched 8 innings and gave up just 2 runs while striking out 8 and walking none. He's a major reason why the Rockies have a 2-game lead over the Giants in the Wild Card race.
Homer Bailey hasn't been quite as dominant, but he has been impressive over his last 3 starts. He's pitched 21.1 innings with a 1.69 ERA in those starts, striking out 19 while walking 8 and allowing just 18 hits. He's finally giving us reason to be excited about his big league prospects, but I'm a bit concerned about about his pitch counts over the last 3 games. He's thrown 114, 115, and 116 pitches in his last 3 starts. I'd rather a pitcher his age wasn't regularly over 110 pitches. Hopefully Dusty Baker will manage to be a bit more cautious with him the rest of the way.
This should be an interesting pitching matchup between two of the hardest throwing young starters in the game. I look forward to the Reds continuing to play the spoiler role.