Game 154 (Pittsburgh v Cincinnati)

If you were around when the MLB played only 154 games, consider it the season finale, but wait, there’s more. The Reds and Pirates both have 9 games remaining and 67% of those games are facing each other, both home-and-home series. Before I breakdown Mat Latos and Francisco Liriano, I got to breakdown the Pitcher’s Grade Sheet for the Houston Astros series and the month of September

STARTERS: Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake and Greg Reynolds

  • 16.2 IP, 14 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 12 SO & HR
  • 1.08 ERA & 1.14 WHIP
  • Per 9, 7.56 H, 2.7 BB, 6.48 K, 0.54 HR. K/BB is 2.40.
  • GRADE: 87.67% (B)

BULLPEN: Alfredo Simón, Aroldis Chapman, J.J. Hoover, Logan Ondrusek, Manny Parra, Sam LeCure, Sean Marshall and Zach Duke

  • 14.1 IP, 11 H, 4 ER, 7 BB & 12 SO
  • 2.51 ERA & 1.26 WHIP
  • Per 9, 6.51 H, 4.4 BB, 7.53 K. K/BB is 1.71.
  • GRADE: 79.07% (C)

Grade Sheet:

Starters:

  • St. Louis Cardinals (85.06) (B) (9-2/9-5)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers (78.46) (C) (9-6/9-8)
  • Chicago Cubs (78.68) (C) (9-9/9-11)
  • Milwaukee Brewers (67.78) (D) (9/13-9/15)
  • Houston Astros (87.67) (B) (9-16/9-18)
  • September Average (79.53) (C)

Bullpen:

  • St. Louis Cardinals (89) (B) (9-2/9-5)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers (99.12) (A) (9-6/9-8)
  • Chicago Cubs (69.30) (D) (9-9/9-11)
  • Milwaukee Brewers (52.94) (F) (13-15)
  • Houston Astros (79.07) (C)
  • September Average (77.886) (C)

Now it is time to breakdown Mat Latos and Francisco Liriano. Mat Latos is considered “money” when it comes to facing the Pirates, but the support on offense he receives is downright terrible, he is 1-1 in his last 5 starts against the Pirates. Latos has faced the Pirates 4 times and will face them for a 5th time tonight. Latos has been given a grade of 73.28% (C) against the 2013 Pirates, now filtering the PNC Park starts, he is graded at 78.07% (C), 4.79 points higher, and his 8 other counterparts on defense need to step it up tonight against lefty Liriano. Liriano has faced the Reds three times this year and has lossed every start against them, he has a 4.41 & 1.29 WHIP, which grades to a 68.37% (D), now if it is against the other 19 teams he has faced this season, he has a 2.73 ERA & 1.22 WHIP, that is a grade of 78.02% (C), for a lefty that dominates against other teams, it shows Liriano has a weakness.

Game Preview

Game 1

Prediction:

Mat Latos: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2B, HR, 3 R, 4 BB & 6 SO

Francisco Liriano: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 BB & 9 SO

*Latos’ BIG 3 OUTS: Tabata, McCutchen and Byrd

*Liriano’s BIG 3 OUTS: Mesoraco, Frazier and Ludwick

^The Above stat determined by the 3 highest OPS in tonight’s game

Things to Consider

  • Beating the Pirates and taking 2 out of 3 is good, but not good enough. Pirates are going to Chicago, if tied, Reds have to be sure to sweep the Mets to remain tied for the top wild card spot, which ensures homefield in the wild card game.
  • If Reds sweep the Pirates, then Reds would have 2 games ahead of the Pirates, then the focus again would to clinch a Playoff spot.
  • Don’t forget about those St. Louis Cardinals, Reds nation became Rockies fan yesterday, only reason for it was that the Reds were off and can gain half of a game. Knowing the result already, Reds still have a chance to win division, but it all depends on what Milwaukee, Washington and Chicago can do in the next 10 days against the Cardinals. Reds are 2 games back and my favorite Reds blogger, Nick Kirby provides a tweet regarding winning the division.

  • Latos said that Reds control their own destiny, and indeed he has a good point. 6 Games against Pirates and winning 4 against them guarantees the jump in the standings, but Reds can’t depend on that and must beat the Mets.
  • If Reds manage to win out and Cardinals end up losing three games, will Reds fans keep saying “Fire Dusty!”? Who knows, can’t blame the manager on every loss.
  • Pittsburgh has had a Rough weak, lose 3 of 4 to Padres and Steelers lose to Bengals on Monday Night Football, Reds can make things worse for Pittsburgh Fans.
  • Last but not least, what Billy Hamilton would say to shortstop or 2nd baseman after he steals his base, which he is 9-9 and went 4-4 on Wednesday night.

NO GAME 155 BLOG POST TOMORROW NIGHT, I’LL BE IN OXFORD, OHIO AND WON’T AVAILABLE TO RELEASE A POST.

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