Pirates (42-30) at Reds (44-29)
12:35 PM–Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati
The Pirates will look for a series split this afternoon before they leave Cincinnati. Last night’s loss was a tough one for several reasons – not the least of which is the fact that nearly the entire bullpen was used, and it will probably be needed again today. The odds aren’t great for the Bucs this afternoon and it would’ve been great to have the split in hand already, but instead they’ll need to get the bats going today.
Brandon Cumpton (0-0, 5.40) vs. Homer Bailey (4-5, 3.80)
Cumpton was good enough in his emergency start to earn another shot today, but with an off day coming up on Monday the Pirates should be able to skip his next turn and then hopefully get Wandy Rodriguez or A.J. Burnett back by the time he’s due to pitch again. Brandon did a fine job shutting the Dodgers down early in his first start, but after a turn through the lineup he was hit pretty hard. He’s got a very tough task today on the road, but hey – he faced Clayton Kershaw in his first start and the Bucs almost won that one, so there’s hope. (Right?)
Bailey…well, you may remember what happened the last time the Bucs faced him….the no hitter for loss #81 last year. Somehow the Pirates have avoided him in 9 games with the Reds this season, but they finally see him today. The big righty has been steady and solid for the Reds, but his last start was a pretty bad one. He’s not the best candiate to jump-start the offense again, but the Pirates can’t go a whole series in this tiny park without hitting a homer…right?
Bucs vs. Bailey