The Reds will try to avoid being swept away in the Bronx this afternoon like a subway rat during a thunderstorm, as they take on the Yankees this afternoon. Meanwhile, Don Long is desperately searching for the bats that may have been lost at the luggage claim in LaGuardia. If they do not act quickly, the Reds run the risk of starting their ceremonial second half a lot like they started the first.
Ace and "stopper" Johnny Cueto will go for the Reds this afternoon. Cueto will look to improve upon his already stupid low ERA of 2.13 and WHIP of 0.89. While Cueto hasn't faced many of the Yankees in today's lineup, he is well acquainted with Carlos Beltran, possibly to his chagrin. Beltran is 6 for 14 in his career against Cueto with 2 of those hits coming as home runs.
Starting for the Yankees will be the 39 year-old veteran Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda, in his seventh season in Major League Baseball is one of the rare breeds of pitchers that can perform well not only in pitcher friendly Dodger Stadium, but also in the AL East in Yankee Stadium. This season, Kuroda is 6-6 with an ERA of 4.10. In case anyone thinks this is him slowing down, it should be noted that, per Grace Raynor, he is 4-3 with a 3.65 ERA in his last 13 starts. In 2014, Hiroki is sporting a WHIP of 1.212 while striking out 6.2 batters every 9 innings. Kuroda has limited history with Reds batters, but Ryan Ludwick is 2 for 14 lifetime while Jay Bruce is 2 for 11 lifetime against the right hander.
The Reds need to save face this afternoon and avoid a sweep against a Yankees team that has suffered from beleaguering injuries this season to their rotation. As Kuroda remains the only starter left from the beginning of the season, irony suggests that he be the one player the Reds record a win off of this series. If not, the Reds can at least get some solid Italian food after the game.
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