The Pirates are in a funny position against the Reds this afternoon, because I think they’re clearly a better team than the Reds right now and am kind of half-hoping that they’ll sweep Cincinnati this weekend, but they’re clearly under a bit of added pressure today because Johnny Cueto is looming tomorrow afternoon.
Vance Worley will be on the mound for the Pirates today, and each of his last two starts have had a similar pattern: he’s started really poorly, and by the time he shored things up, it was too late for the Pirates to bounce back. The Pirates have actually lost his last three starts and it’s hard to argue that he’s pitched well in any of them (though he looked maybe as good as he’s looked as a Pirate after spotting the Braves a 6-0 lead in the first inning back on August 18th). Alfredo Simon goes for the Reds. He’s had a very questionable second half after a great first half, and so hopefully the Pirates will be able to score some runs this afternoon.
The Pirates made another paper move before the game today, “demoting” Jeff Locke to make room for Brent Morel on the roster. That should probably tell you something about the general health of Pedro Alvarez at the moment. Locke will still be able to make his scheduled start on Tuesday, as the minor league seasons end before then.
First pitch today is at 4:05, and it’s one of the FOX games.