Last night's exciting win over the Reds was pretty gratifying given a lot of factors; there's the residual bad blood between the teams from last year, there was the blown lead, and there's Brandon Phillips' general jackassery. All of that came together nicely to result in a huge clutch home run from Andrew McCutchen and some solid bullpen work from Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli to get the PIrates a win. The real reason that the win was important, though, is that the rest of this series does not shape up so nicely. Jeff Locke is facing off against Johnny Cueto in the never optimal "ace vs. fourth starter" matchup (I don't care what order the Pirates have their pitchers in, Jonathan Sanchez is the fifth starter) and it looks like Phil Irwin will be making his big league debut tomorrow for the injured Wandy Rodriguez.
All of that being said, it'd be fantastic if the Pirates can steal a second win from the Reds in this series. There's no question about it; they're going to have to score some runs off of Cueto tonight because the Reds are going to score some runs on Locke. Cueto's more or less owned the Pirates for a few years now. Still, I guess maybe stranger things have happened.
First pitch tonight is at 7:05. If you're in the Pittsburgh area, the game should be broadcast on the MLB Network since the Penguins are on ROOT. Travis Snider's hot bat of late has earned him his fourth straight start against a right-handed pitcher.