St. Louis Cardinals
@ Cincinnati Reds
Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010, 7:10 PM EDT
Great American Ball Park
Jaime Garcia vs Johnny Cueto
Partly cloudy. Winds blowing in from right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 95.
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Of the three games in this series, this is probably the most favorable pitching matchup for the Reds. Cueto has been nails, with some help from his defense, over his last 9 starts, posting a 1.55 ERA. Only once has he given up more than 2 runs in any of those starts. Garcia has started regressing back to the mean in much the same fashion, though not to the degree, as Mike Leake. If the Reds can catch him on a continued downswing, they might be able to put some runs up on the board.
I don't expect we'll see much fireworks on the field from the Brandon Phillips controversy. The Cardinals may whine a bit, but I don't think they are the kind of team that would retaliate for words with anything but words. I just hope the situation adds a little more motivation for the Reds to backup their teammate, not that they should need any more motivation than playing for first place. They are a close-knit team, and even if no one comes out and defends Phillips' comments, I think they'll all stand behind him in the clubhouse. Winning teams don't fall apart over something like this, even if TLR and the media are trying to make it sound like BP insulted his teammates who were former Cardinals.
I think the Reds have got to get the win tonight. It's not a necessity for them to win the series, though it would be nice. However, it could be demoralizing for them to get swept. Their best chance to avoid that is by winning tonight. Then they can worry about winning the series tomorrow and adding a game to their lead.