Series Preview: The Reds

Current record: 60-44, 2nd place in NL Central, 3.5 games back

Up Next: Cincinnati Reds, 64-41, 1st place in NL Central, 3.5 games ahead

Season Series: 5-4 (1-2, 2-1, 2-1)

Notes: Here’s the big series we’ve been waiting for. The Reds have won 13 of 14 and 20 of 23 to expand their lead to 3.5 games. Joey Votto is still out and Brandon Phillips is questionable. The only move the Reds made at the deadline was to add Jonathan Broxton as a setup man. No lefty starters mean we won’t see much of Gaby Sanchez except as a pinch hitter vs Sean Marshall and Aroldis Chapman.

Familiar Faces: Ryan Ludwick, Xavier Paul, Bronson Arroyo

Probable Pitchers

Friday: LH Wandy Rodriguez (7-9, 136.2 IP, 94 K, 3.82 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)
vs. RH Mat Latos (9-3, 127.1 IP, 117 K, 4.17 ERA, 1.24 WHIP)

Saturday: RH James McDonald (10-5, 130.2 IP, 115 K, 3.37 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)
vs. RH Mike Leake (4-7, 119.2 IP, 79 K, 4.44 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)

Sunday: RH A.J. Burnett (13-3, 124.0 IP, 102 K, 3.27 ERA, 1.19 WHIP)
vs. RH Homer Bailey (9-6, 131.0 IP, 97 K, 3.85 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)

No lineups yet.

Starling Marte LF
Travis Snider RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Garrett Jones 1B
Neil Walker 2B
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Rod Barajas C
Clint Barmes SS
Wandy Rodriguez P

Trade Deadline Tree: Ryan Ludwick

The Pirates made another deal just before the trade deadline, acquiring OF Ryan Ludwick from the Padres for a Player To Be Named Later or cash.

Ludwick is an immediate upgrade in the OF for the Pirates. Xavier Paul has been exposed playing everyday while Jose Tabata and Alex Presley are hurt. Once they return it will be interesting to see how Clint Hurdle makes out the lineup.

Exhausted (Jerry Meals redux)

Its been a long *two* nights now. I was only able to stay till the bottom of the 16th inning but I was home in time to see the ending. I’m actually glad my Dad and I had already left because he might have had a coronary over that call if we had seen it live. Kudos to the bullpen, especially Jason Grilli and Daniel McCutchen, for pitching 13 innings of scoreless relief. The offense missed so many chances to score, but McKenry, Walker and Paul did their part early.

A lot has already been written about this and I’m sure there will be more to come, so here are some links to the best stuff.

Video of the ending from MLB.com, and from Sports Grid.

Rob Neyer stretches his imagination and says the ump MIGHT be right.

Joe Posnanski says Rob Neyer is wrong.

Friend of the blog Larry Granillo imagines an alternate timeline where instant replay was in effect.

Pat Lackey has a quick, stunned take, a long ranting take and a more measured post too.

Via Rumbunter, a Benstonuim video of Jerry Meals calling bad things safe.

Brian McElhinney at Raise the Jolly Roger wasn’t so jolly.

Charlie Wilmoth is incredulous.

Jen Langosch has the inside scoop from the clubhouse, and the Pirates’ official statement.

I’m back at it tonight. I fully expect aliens to land at this point.

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