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Series Preview: Reds at Pirates

MLB: New York Mets at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates (63-71) got swept in ugly fashion in Wrigley Field, but who cares about that?

Last weekend they slayed a dragon by winning a real-life series of Major League Baseball games against the Reds!


OK, it’s not really a huge deal. The Pirates took two of three in Cincinnati, pulling their record against the Reds this season up to a whopping 4-9. In their two wins the Pirates scored a combined six runs, including a 1-0 win on the back of Gerrit Cole’s solo home run (and, you know, pitching), in a pair of rare low-scoring games at Great American Ballpark.

The Reds took two of three from the Mets at home this week.

Let’s see what wonders the Bucs and Reds will bring to the North Shore of Pittsburgh this weekend!

Season Series: 9-4 Reds

At Pittsburgh

April 10: Reds 7, Pirates 1

April 11: Reds 6, Pirates 2

April 12: Reds 9, Pirates 2

At Cincinnati

May 1: Reds 4, Pirates 3, 10 innings

May 2: Pirates 12, Reds 3

May 3: Reds 7, Pirates 2

May 4: Reds 4, Pirates 2

At Pittsburgh

August 1: Reds 9, Pirates 1

August 2: Reds 5, Pirates 2

August 3: Pirates 6, Reds 0

At Cincinnati

August 25: Reds 9, Pirates 5

August 26: Pirates 1, Reds 0

August 27: Pirates 5, Reds 2


Friday, 7:05 p.m. - Luis Castillo (2-7, 3.26 ERA) vs. Gerrit Cole (11-8, 3.99), TV: AT&T SportsNet

Saturday, 7:05 p.m. - Tyler Mahle (0-1, 5.40) vs. Jameson Taillon (7-5, 4.75), TV: AT&T SportsNet

Sunday, 1:35 p.m. - Sal Romano (4-5, 4.91) vs. Trevor Williams (5-7, 4.37), TV: AT&T SportsNet


57-77 (59-75 Pythag, 4.80 RS/G, 5.51 RA/G)


Joey Votto posted a b-e-a-utiful 0-for-0 line with five walks against the Pirates last Sunday. Adam Duvall, batting behind Votto, posted an 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. He’s hitting .209/.258/.461 in August and .205/.273/.432 in the second half, his second straight ugly second half after a good first half with the Reds. I attended last Saturday’s and Sunday’s games, and everyone I sat by seemed to hate Jose Peraza (.259/.299/.326, 3.9% walk rate). As someone who actually traded for Peraza in my dynasty league before this season, I fit in well with those folks.


Friday and Saturday’s games are rematches of pitching matchups last weekend. Luis Castillo (9.66 K/9, 3.61 BB/9) throws quite hard (97.5 MPH average fastball) and is a bright spot among a pretty sorry staff. He went toe-to-toe with Gerrit Cole last Saturday. Tyler Mahle made his Major League debut on Sunday, striking out five, walking four and allowing three runs on four hits in five innings. The Pirates got eight hits and four runs in six innings to beat Sal Romano (7.52 K/9, 4.14 BB/9) on August 3. I won a Raisel Iglesias (11.16 K/9, 3.11 BB/9, 24 saves) bobblehead by spinning a wheel at GABP.


Rosters will expand on Friday, so we may see a few new faces. We may also just keep seeing Chris Stewart and John Jaso. One silly, but slightly more reasonable possible reason for letting go of Juan Nicasio was to get younger pitchers more opportunities in the bullpen. So, lineup and bullpen management is one thing to watch for, for the die-hards.

Also, the tone to the rest of the season, at least internally — everyone outside is already mad — is in the balance with these sort of games. The players have presented a mostly positive outlook throughout the season, and I believe they truly feel that way. Continuing to get your brains beaten in like they were in Chicago could make this a really ugly, toxic, no-fun month.


How does this series go?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Pirates sweep!
    (17 votes)
  • 23%
    2-1 Pirates
    (25 votes)
  • 24%
    2-1 Reds
    (26 votes)
  • 37%
    Reds sweep.
    (40 votes)
108 votes total Vote Now