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Reds vs. Pirates, Game 3: Preview/Prediction Thread

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The Pirates continue their trend of falling 2/3 of the way towards their goal.
The Pirates continue their trend of falling 2/3 of the way towards their goal.
Joe Robbins

Next Game

Pittsburgh Pirates
@ Cincinnati Reds

Sunday, Jul 21, 2013, 1:10 PM EDT
Great American Ball Park

Jeff Locke vs Homer Bailey

Partly cloudy. Winds blowing in from left field at 1-5 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 85.

Complete Coverage >

Homer Bailey will attempt to break a recent trend as Pittsburgh attempts to break two annual trends when the Reds take on the Pirates this afternoon. Not only must the Pirates overcome their history of second half meltdowns, but also must do so against the Reds pitcher that appears to have their number. Meanwhile, Cincinnati hopes to overcome the difficulty they have so-often had against young left handed starting pitchers.

Since coming off of his second career no-hitter against San Francisco on July 2, Homer Bailey has entered into a bit of a rough patch. He has lost his previous two outings against the Milwaukee Brewers and the Atlanta Braves. Perhaps more alarmingly, the Reds are 1-5 in his past six starts. Granted, one of these losses, the one against the Pirates, can be attributed to the Reds bullpen. Nevertheless, our doppelganger of the Caped Crusader finds himself in an unfortunate predicament that he will attempt to get out of in today's series finale.

The Pirates, on the other hand, will be grasping for an attempt to shake what appears to be the onset of their annual fade out of relevancy. Over the past three years, a young and feisty Pirates club has stormed out of the gate with the hopes and aspirations of breaking a two-decade old trend of sub-.500 finishes. However, once the All Star Break passes, the club has slouched towards the bottom half of the NL Central standings. Alas, the Pirates find themselves square in the eyes of a series sweep while squaring off against the pitcher that can best be described as their arch nemesis.

Homer Bailey has experienced more success against the Pirates than any other team in his career. In addition to logging his first career no-hitter in Pittsburgh, Bailey assembled a 3.31 ERA against the Pirates in 2012 with a WHIP of 1.041. Meanwhile, Jeff Locke has established similar success against the Reds this season and last. While Todd Frazier is 3 for 8 against the lefty, most of the Reds struggled against him including Jay Bruce who is 1 for 8 in his career and Brandon Phillips going 1 for 6.

The outcome of today's game will depend on which trend will be broken. Will it be the Pirates' annual train-wreck of a second half? Will it be Homer's recent struggles? Or, perhaps, will it be the Reds' difficulties against lefties overcoming the Pirates' inability to perform against Homer Bailey? Whatever it is, I'm hoping for a sweep! Go Reds, they're my favorite team!

Bullpen Log

Reliever 7/16 7/17 7/18 7/19 7/20 5 day totals
Aroldis Chapman 1.0, 14p (ASG) - - 1.0, 18p 1.0, 17p 3.0 IP, 49 pitches
Logan Ondrusek - - - 0.1, 12p 0.1, 4p 0.1 IP, 16 pitches
Sam LeCure - - - 0.2, 9p 1.0, 10p 1.2 IP, 19 pitches
J.J. Hoover - - -
1.0, 15p 1.0 IP, 15 pitches
Curtis Partch - - -

0.0 IP, 0 pitches
Manny Parra - - - 0.2, 10p
0.2 IP, 10 pitches
Alfredo Simon - - - 0.2, 17p 0.2, 24p

1.1 IP, 41 pitches