Series Preview: Pirates vs. Reds

preview CIN

Pittsburgh Pirates (3-6) vs. Cincinnati Reds (5-4)

April 12, 2013 – 7:05 pm
April 13, 2013 – 7:05 pm
April 14, 2013 – 1:35 pm

PNC Park


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Probable Starters:

Game 1 – A.J. Burnett (0-2, 3.27) vs. Mike Leake (0-0, 6.00)

Game 2 – Jeff Locke (0-1, 6.00) vs. Johnny Cueto (1-0, 2.77)

Game 3 – TBD vs. Mat Latos (0-0, 2.84)

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Batting Leaders:




Starling Marte (.333)

Shin-Soo Choo (.371)


Garrett Jones, Andrew McCutchen (1)

Choo, Todd Frazier (3)


Andrew McCutchen (6)

Frazier (10)


McCutchen (4)

Three tied with 1

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Pitching Leaders:




Three tied with 1

Five tied with 1


A.J. Burnett (19)

Johnny Cueto (15)


Wandy Rodriguez (1.00)

Cueto (2.77)


Jason Grilli (3)

Aroldis Chapman (2)

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Opponent Blogs: Better Off Red, Blog Red Machine, Red Reporter

Players to Watch: Mike Leake, Johnny Cueto, and Mat Latos – the Reds’ three starting pitchers – who’ve done well against the Pirates in their careers. Leake has a 2.68 ERA at PNC Park; Cueto is 12-4 with a 2.54 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 120.2 innings against the Bucs; Latos is 4-0 with a 2.11 ERA and 40 K’s in 38.1 career innings vs. Pittsburgh. It’ll be interesting to see how the Pirates’ offense (one of the worst in baseball) fares this weekend.

Go Bucs

In 48 Days…

Jared Hughes (48) days until Opening Day.

Hughes was impressive out of the ‘pen in his first full year, and should assume a larger role in 2013.

Three questions about number 48…

1. How will he react to the Cincinnati Reds? The whole ordeal with Brandon Phillips flared up multiple times in September, with the Reds trying to intimidate the young Bucs. While it shouldn’t carry over to 2013, Cincinnati comes to PNC early in the season. Being that Hughes is a big time competitor with an edge on the mound, you never know if blood will boil over. Hopefully Hughes can keep his composure and shut down the division rivals.

2. Can he pull up his strikeout rates? Despite being relatively successful last year, Hughes managed to strikeout just 5.9 batters per nine innings. That’s a below average clip, especially for a reliever. For comparison, Jason Grilli posted a ridiculous 13.8 K/9 in 2012. If Hughes wants to be successful out of the bullpen, he must miss bats and get out of situations with K’s.

3. How will he respond to a more important role? With the departures of Joel Hanrahan and Chris Resop, Hughes will certainly be relied upon in 2013. Grilli slides into the closer role, and new Bucco Mark Melancon should hold down the eighth inning. However, Hughes should still see his fair share of setup opportunities.

Go Bucs

Season in Pictures: September 2012

September 7th, 2012
Josh Harrison commits one of the Pirates’ seven errors, as the Cubs cruised to a 12-2 victory.

September 10th, 2012
Brandon Phillips is plunked by Jared Hughes; nonsense ensued, as Phillips thought Hughes made a racist comment towards him. The Bucs were swept by the Redlegs.

September 27th, 2012
Travis Snider scales the outfield wall to make a ridiculous catch at Citi Field. However, the Pirates lost, 6-5, as R.A. Dickey won his 20th game.

September 28th, 2012
Homer Bailey celebrates after no-hitting the Pirates at PNC Park.

September 29th, 2012
Andrew McCutchen is greeted by his teammates at home plate after knocking a walk-off home run against the Reds.

October 3rd, 2012
Andrew McCutchen leaves the field for the final time in 2012 to a standing ovation in front of 20,000+ at PNC Park.