MLB Baseball

Final-12 4 5 6   7 8 9   10 11 12   R H E
Cincinnati1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4131
Pittsburgh0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 251
  W: R. Alaniz (1-0)   L: A. McRae (0-4)
4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, September 28, 2019
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 21,084

Pirates look to extend strong finish at Reds' expense

According to STATS
According to STATS

Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates

  1. Cincinnati pitching is averaging 9.80 strikeouts per nine innings this season, on pace to be the highest SO/9 IP rate in National League history. The Reds have 1533 strikeouts with three games remaining -- the NL record for pitching strikeouts in a season is 1565 by the 2018 Los Angeles Dodgers.
  2. The Pirates will finish in last place in NL Central this season, while the Reds will finish in fourth in the division. Pittsburgh and Cincinnati have been the two bottom teams in the NL Central in each of the past three seasons.
  3. The Reds have the best run differential in the majors in the first inning this season at +40. From the second inning on, Cincinnati has a -53-run differential, which ranks 18th in baseball.
  4. Eugenio Suarez has hit 49 home runs this season, second most all-time by a third baseman (based on season position) in a season (Alex Rodriguez -- 52 HR in 2007). Suarez is tied with Ted Kluszewski (1954) for the second-most home runs in a season in franchise history (George Foster -- 52 HR in 1977).
  5. Bryan Reynolds enters this series with an .880 OPS, on pace to be the third-highest mark by a qualifying switch-hitting rookie all-time. Tom McCreery (.956 OPS in 1896) and Duke Kenworthy (.896 OPS in 1914) are the only switch-hitting rookies with higher marks than Reynolds (among batting title qualifiers).
  6. Anthony DeSclafani has limited opponents to 12 hits over his last five starts, tied for the fewest allowed by a Reds starter in any five-start span in the live-ball era (since 1920). Opponents are batting just .114 off DeSclafani in September, the lowest mark in the majors over that time (min. 20 IP).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/27/2019 thru 9/29/2019

The Pittsburgh Pirates, locked into last place in the National League Central, seem to be trying to end the season with a bang. Or a few bangs.

After nine straight losses, Pittsburgh swept the Chicago Cubs, helping ensure they would miss the playoffs.

Then on Friday, the Pirates (69-91) opened their final series of the season by beating the Cincinnati Reds 6-5 on a walk-off two-run homer by Kevin Newman with two out in the bottom of the ninth. It was his second home run of the game.

The Pirates -- who erased a 4-0 deficit Friday, then fell behind 5-4 before pulling out the game -- are 8-0 at PNC Park against Cincinnati this year and are 16-2 against the Reds in Pittsburgh dating to the start of the 2018 season.

The Reds (73-87), locked into one spot above the Pirates in the division, will be trying to salvage a couple wins in the final two games of the season. They have lost five straight overall.

In the middle game of the series Saturday, Cincinnati right-hander Lucas Sims (2-1, 4.39 ERA) is scheduled to face Pittsburgh right-hander James Marvel (0-3, 10.22 ERA).

Right-hander Trevor Bauer originally was slated to start Saturday for the Reds, but that got pushed back to Sunday because he has been ill. So Sims' assignment is considered to be part of a bullpen game.

Sims was promoted just after the All-Star break and has made three starts and 20 relief appearances.

"I think Lucas has the stuff to be a starter or a reliever," Reds manager David Bell said recently. "It's not easy to necessarily make that transition at the major league level. He's been able to do it just because he's confident and he believes in himself. He's done a good job coming out of the bullpen because of that more than anything."

Sims could get a chance to compete for a spot in the rotation next season.

He is 1-0 with a 5.48 ERA in four career games, one start, against Pittsburgh.

Marvel, 26, has lost all three of his major league starts, most recently Sept. 21 when he gave up five runs and six hits in 3 1/3 innings, with three strikeouts and two walks, against Milwaukee.

Marvel somewhat lived up to his name during his time in the minor leagues this year. Between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, he was a combined 16-5 with a 2.94 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 28 starts. He was named the Pirates' minor league pitcher of the year.

That win total, ERA and strikeout number led all Pirates prospects with at least 100 innings pitched, and the 16 wins also led all the minor leagues.

He'll get one last shot at his first big league win this year.

"I'm happy to be here, but I'm not just happy to be here," Marvel told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "First and foremost, I have to figure out how to get guys out and try to put our team in position to get wins here in September.

"Then, whatever happens, hopefully, I'm putting myself in a good position to impact the club next year."

Marvel will be facing the Reds for the first time.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 28, 2019

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