Happy Fourth of July, Nation!
Today, your Cincinnati Reds go for a sweep of the four-game series against the San Francisco Giants. The Reds are undefeated in July and 7-8 so far during this difficult stretch of games before the All-Star break. The Giants have a losing record overall, but are the same number of games (4) out of first place in their division as the Reds are in the NL Central.
Mike Leake (7-3) takes the ball for the Reds and Matt Cain (5-4) pitches for the Giants. Leake, who leads the Reds’ rotation in ERA (2.52) and is third in FIP (3.52), has pitched brilliantly the past two months and is coming off strong performances against the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Matt Cain has struggled (relative to his previous seasons) a bit in 2013, with a 4.29 ERA and 4.05 FIP. He has a career record of 4-5 against the Reds. You might remember the last time Cain pitched in GABP. If you’re interested in some theories for why (or even if) Cain is struggling this year, try this article from Eno Sarris at FanGraphs. Conclusion: Cain has trouble with the Cardinals and has left a few pitches in the heart of the plate.
It has been raining here this morning and more is predicted for the area this afternoon. “We recognize today’s forecast indicates the potential for rain throughout our region, but there also appears to be a chance we can get the game in,” said Reds Chief Operating Officer Phil Castellini.
If you’re wondering, Homer celebrated his second no-hitter with Dot and Billy.
Homer also received over 300 congratulatory messages including one from Roger Clemens. C. Trent Rosecrans reports that when Homer first came up to the Reds in 2007, he requested uniform #21 because that was the number worn by the Rocket. None of Clemens’ 354 career wins were no-hitters, but he did take seven of them into the seventh inning or later. Nolan Ryan took twenty-four into the seventh or later.
Reminder: Today is the last day you can vote online for the All-Star game starters.
Today’s lineup. As someone correctly predicted last night, Chris Heisey’s home run and two RBI earned him a seat on the bench today. Devin Mesoraco catches the day game after 11 innings in a night game, but hey, he’s young.
- Shin-Soo Choo CF
- Zack Cozart SS
- Joey Votto 1B
- Brandon Phillips 2B
- Jay Bruce RF
- Todd Frazier 3B
- Xavier Paul LF
- Devin Mesoraco C
- Mike Leake SP
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.