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Game 44: Reds vs. Pirates

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Pittsburgh Pirates
@ Cincinnati Reds

Thursday, May 19, 2011, 12:35 PM EDT
Great American Ball Park

James McDonald vs Johnny Cueto

MLB Media Center

Gameday

Partly cloudy. Winds blowing out to left field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 65.

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After last night, hopefully the Reds are no longer in arrears to the Universe and can get on with the task of winning the NL Central. The Cardinals aren't going away, having won 3 straight since their sweep in Cincinnati - including two against Oswalt and Lee - to slim the Reds' lead to a half game. Milwaukee is also on a hot streak, taking 7 out of their last 10. We may have that three-headed raced after all. Better than a three-legged race, because that's how your uncle injured himself at the reunion. But I guess it was mostly because he was drunk.

If the team is to be fighting off both the Brewers and the Cardinals this season, the margin of error is slim. Though they're not quite the Pirates of Yore, teams like Pittsburgh are just the type to pick on. Instead, the Reds have lost 4 out of 5 to them so far. Good teams often have inferior teams who become a thorn in their side. The 1908 Cleveland Naps, for one, could not handle the miserable Washington Nationals, going 8-14 against them. They ended up missing out on the pennant and finishing 2nd in the AL that season, so that's a bad example.

Johnny Cueto has a history of counterinsurgency against the Pirates, with a lifetime 2.62 ERA that includes his only career complete game shutout. His continued refusal to give up earned runs* will obviously be critical to keeping the rest of the division at bay. And that's any kind of Bay - Jason, Pirate, Docking, Rum - anything to distract them from crawling back into first.

*You should probably get at least a 1/4 of an earned run when you give up a home run, regardless of the scenario.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Johnny Cueto 2-0 2 2 0 0 0 0 13.2 8 3 0 1 3 9 0.00 .80


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - James McDonald 2-3 8 8 0 0 0 0 40.2 43 29 28 7 22 35 6.20 1.60