The Cincinnati Reds (61-63) face the St. Louis Cardinals (66-57) for the first time since the All-star Break. The Reds need to make up some ground in the standings, and I can think of no better team to do that against than the 2nd place Cardinals.

The Cardinals won four of five last week, as Nick Kirby describes in his weekly Central Intelligence report.

The Reds had a rough weekend in Colorado, but Steve Mancuso gives us reason to believe in a 2014 Cincinnati Reds postseason.

MONDAY, 8:15pm

Justin Masterson 5.58 4.04 1.64 0.6 4.9 8.1
Mike Leake 3.59 3.43 1.26 0.9 2.1 7.0

Justin Masterson is making his 4th start for the Cardinals since being acquired from Cleveland. Masterson allowed 10 runs over 8 innings in his first two starts in a Cardinal uniform before turning in 7 shutout innings in his third start last week against Miami.

TUESDAY, 8:15pm

John Lackey (career) 3.91 3.47 1.27 1.1 2.1 7.4
Alfredo Simon 3.28 4.09 1.18 1.1 2.5 5.6

John Lackey is also making his 4th start in a Cardinals uniform. In two of his three previous starts, he’s gone 7 innings and allowed just two runs in each game. His was bombed in one of his three starts against Baltimore for nine runs over five innings.


Lance Lynn 2.91 3.70 1.29 0.4 3.3 8.3
Johnny Cueto 2.06 3.13 0.91 0.8 2.4 9.0

Lance Lynn is having a great year for the Cardinals. He is one-third of an inning shy of posting 8 consecutive quality starts. Over his last three starts, he has walked just three batters and struck out 16 over 20 innings.

I think the pitching match-ups favor the Reds. Hopefully, the Reds offense made the flight to St. Louis and gets a bump in play from the return of Brandon Phillips. I’m not counting on a Reds sweep of the Cardinals, but that would go a long way towards easing the pain of that bad Colorado series.

Join the conversation! 19 Comments

  1. Salvaging a WC spot looks like a very long shot now, but Leake has pitched well against the Cardinals this year and BP and Frazier are both in the lineup tonight:

    CF Billy Hamilton (S)
    RF Jay Bruce (L)
    3B Todd Frazier (R)
    C Devin Mesoraco (R)
    LF Ryan Ludwick (R)
    2B B. Phillips (R)
    1B Brayan Pena (S)
    SS Zack Cozart (R)
    PMike Leake (R)

    It would be nice to get the foul taste of yesterday’s debacle out of our mouths.

    GO REDS!

  2. According to Sheldon, Barnhart and Axelrod were sent down to make room for BP and Ondrusek. Expected the first, but the second is a shock considering how well Dylan pitched. Seems to suggest that Holmberg will pitch Thursday and that they will make another roster move at that time – guessing sending down Contreras.

    • Contreras is who I would have sent down… He needs to command his pitches better. Axelrod had a nice start in Coors’ field. He’s earned another start.

      • I agree, but that still would leave us without a starter on Thursday unless they wanted to go with Latos on short rest (he’s never pitched in the bigs on 3 days rest though).

        • Yeah, the double-header does throw that wrench in. I somehow didn’t think about that. I don’t think I want Latos throwing on short rest right now.

    • Is it that freakin… hard to DFA hannarhan and hoover.., good job walt jokerity lmafo

  3. And I kinda want to hug BP… I don’t know how effective he’s going to be coming off the injury but just having him out there has got to be a boost to this team. That’s why I think if the doctors and Votto think he can go in a couple/three weeks here, then he should be out there. Try to get something positive to build on for next year.

  4. There’s one other interesting possibility; Holmberg is still scheduled to pitch tonight for the Bats – if he makes that start there is no way he’ll go for the Reds on Thursday.

    However, Michael Lorenzen started for Pensacola on Saturday and is currently scheduled to start on Thursday for them. He’s been converted to a starter this year and has generally been on a low pitch count (maximum 90) and as struggled a bit recently though he went 5 good innings Saturday. He has a plus fastball and was a first round draft choice last year; I’d love to see what he can do.

  5. Random thought; Hamels last pitched at SF on 8/15/14. He would fit right in on Thursday. What would Walt give up for a left-handed starter who has 4 years of control. No guess work, no (PROSPECTITUS), HAS FUTURE VALUE (2015), buys time for Homer, it would also give division foes something to think about. Yes he is expensive but after this season who won’t be. This moves Simon back to long relief when Homer is better, allows Walt to get a left fielder this winter and yes, just might give the fans hope for this season plus add an 85% JV and Brandon for the last 19 games with two tested backups (Negron, Pena), who knows.
    Isn’t it grand to dream!

    • That, my friend, is truly “off centered”. πŸ™‚

      I don’t think the Reds are one of the eight teams that Hamels has listed that he would be willing to go to.

      • How about the “hand shake deal” where Walt promises to trade him over the winter to one of his “select” teams for a qualified LF. As I said “Isn’t it grand to dream!”

    • Hamels was already placed on waivers, claimed by the Cubs and then pulled back because the two teams couldn’t reach a deal. IF the Phillies put him on waivers again, then any team can claim him and get him. The Cubs, who are ahead of the Reds in the waiver line, would surely do so.

      • I thought about that and my thinking was that you get one bite at the waver wire without competition and that the second time around best deal wins. Looks like my thinking was wrong. ah well not the first time, Onward and upward.

  6. So if Walt calls the Cubs and tells them he needs Hamels as a rental for 2014 and is willing to work a trade over the winter where the cubs get Hamels for next year if they don’t claim him this year. Is that called collusion or just damn good trading. Being off centered again πŸ™‚

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