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Game 26: Reds @ Pirates (7:05 EDT). Leake vs. McDonald.

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Cincinnati Reds
@ Pittsburgh Pirates

Saturday, May 5, 2012, 7:05 PM EDT
PNC Park

Mike Leake vs James McDonald


TV: FSO-HD, ROOT-HD; RADIO: WLW, KDKA; WEB:, Gameday Audio, Gameday


Partly cloudy. Winds blowing from left to right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 70.

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I hope you enjoyed your Margarita Julep with a splash of Negro Modelo and Horsemeat, it's time for baseball again.

Mike Leake is averaging less than 5.2 innings per start over 4 starts this season. The advantage of a well-rested bullpen is that Leake can be on a shorter leash, but it would be far better for Leake to have as much room as possible to regain his feel and boost his confidence against the weakest offense in the National League. If the Reds can create a cushion (for the pushin'), maybe Leake can start getting right tonight.

His FIP (and xFIP) say he should be significantly better, largely because he's giving up so few walks and home runs. His HR/FB rate is around average, but he's just not giving up many fly balls. He's getting killed on hard hit liners. I think it's a good sign he's not being crushed out of the park. Given his control, he may be just barely missing his spots. I'd expect more fly balls and home runs with a systematic breakdown like pitch-tipping or uniform lack of movement.

The Reds are working on a little old streak here. A win tonight would tie their season high in consecutive wins. Standing in their way is James McDonald. He faced the Reds more than any other team last season (5 starts, 122 batters faced). That should mean the Reds have some good intel on him, but it often doesn't work out that way. The Reds' game against him in 2011 was their first, over a year a go.

Go Reds! Let's play the game and win the game.

Mike Leake
Stats James McDonald
6.65 (59)
ERA (ERA+) 2.97 (125)
1.569 WHIP 1.055
1.80 K/BB 2.18
4.17 FIP 3.43
4.23 xFIP 3.97
4.78 SIERA 4.05
21.1 IP 30.1


Reds pirates
Zack Cozart SS
Jose Tabata RF
Drew Stubbs CF
Neil Walker 2B
Joey Votto 1B
Andrew McCutchen CF
Brandon Phillips 2B Pedro Alvarez 3B
Jay Bruce RF
Casey McGehee 1B
Scott Rolen 3B
Garrett Jones RF
Ryan Ludwick LF Clint Barmes SS
Devin Mesoraco C
Rod Barajas C
Mike Leake RHP James McDonald RHP

Bullpen Log

Reliever 4/30 5/1 5/2 5/3 5/4 5 day totals
Sean Marshall -
- 1.0, 20p 1.0 IP, 20 pitches
Aroldis Chapman - - 1.0, 16p 1.0 IP, 16 pitches
Logan Ondrusek -
- 1.0, 12p
1.0 IP, 12 pitches
Jose Arredondo -
- 1.0, 10p
1.0 IP, 10 pitches
Sam LeCure -
- 2.0, 26p 2.0 IP, 26 pitches
J.J. Hoover - -
1.0, 12p 1.0 IP, 12 pitches
Alfredo Simon - - 0.0 IP, 0 pitches