This would have been a great matchup in 2006. Last time out, Aaron Harang was pitching with his spot in the rotation on the line, after 2 terrible starts had him on thin ice with most Reds fans and media members. He delivered the goods in that start, giving up 2 runs in 6 innings, which was good enough to earn a win in Houston. Is he out of the doghouse yet? I don't think so. Another bad start could have him on the ropes again, deservedly or not, so he needs to come out and pitch well.
The Reds will go up against Chris Carpenter, and we already know his story. Carpenter has only been roughed up once this season, a no-decision against the Brewers, but has 24 strikeouts in this last 3 games, and has only given up 2 runs in 13 innings at home so far this year. He's 8-3 lifetime against the Reds with a 2.17 ERA in those starts, and has struck out 92 Reds while walking only 12 of them.
This is the rubber match of the series, and it would be a huge confidence boost for the Reds to go on the road and win both series. A win today would send the Reds home with a winning record, only 3 games back in the division, and still in sole possession of second place in the division.
Go Reds! They're our favorite team!