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CLOSER FRANCISCO CORDERO HAS REDS' FANS GRIPPING THEIR PILLOWS TIGHT

9.13.10
BY:MEH
SLEEP WITH ONE EYE OPEN
CLOSER FRANCISCO CORDERO HAS REDS FANS GRIPPING THEIR PILLOWS TIGHT

Although the Cincinnati Reds won two of three games against the Pittsburgh Pirates (48-94) this weekend, there are many concerns surrounding the ball club pending their latest series. Against the worst team in major league baseball, especially when on the road (15-55), the Reds needed extra innings to defeat Pittsburgh during the first two games and lost the third game after owning a lead up until the ninth. The Reds currently have the National League's best offense (703R, 160HR, .272BA), but failed to execute against the Bucs all weekend. Cincinnati's scored a total of only ten runs throughout the series and faced three starting pitchers (Paul Maholm, Charlie Morton, and Brian Burres) who have a combined record of 11-28. Pittsburgh on the other hand, the second worst hitting team in the majors, matched the Reds' ten run total after beating Cincinnati 3-1 on Sunday afternoon.

Perhaps the saddest tale of the Reds' three game series against the Pirates was that of three young starting pitchers. Homer Bailey, Edinson Volquez, and Johnny Cueto each composed a stellar outing against the Pirates. Hurling seven innings a piece, Bailey, Volquez, and Cueto combined for just one earned run on nine hits while striking out 26 batters. Unfortunately, all three starters received no-decisions despite their team leading the Pirates at the time of their departure.

During the bullpen's nine innings of work over the weekend, nine earned runs were allowed on thirteen hits as three saves were blown. Francisco Cordero notched his seventh and eighth blown save of the 2010 season on Friday and Sunday while Aroldis Chapman received the first of his career on Saturday. The Reds managed to comeback and defeat the Pirates on Friday 4-3, and on Saturday 5-4, but ran out of fuel on Sunday as they lost 1-3.

"I know people are hollering for this person or that person (Cordero's) our closer, Dusty Baker said. "I feel terrible for Coco because hes a great teammate and we need him."



As Reds fans have done all year long, it's time to put this series in the past and prepare for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The weekend series against the Pirates was not pretty, but the Reds walked away with another series win. The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Braves on Sunday, but lost their first two attempts against Atlanta and remain six games behind the Reds in the NL Central. The Reds magic number is currently fifteen with just nineteen games left to play during the regular season.



The Reds will play four games against the Arizona Diamondbacks (57-86) beginning Monday. The only time the two teams met this season (August 17-19 in Arizona), Cincinnati swept the Snakes as they moved three games ahead of the Cardinals. Arizona owns last place in the NL West and has already been eliminated from the post season.

MONDAY: Bronson Arroyo (14-10, 4.09) vs. Barry Enright (6-3, 2.95) at 7:10pm

Bronson Arroyo will be making his 30th start of the 2010 season while Barry Enright will be making his 14th. In seven career starts against the Snakes during his career, Arroyo is 2-3 with a 4.83 ERA. During Arroyo's last start against the Diamondbacks on August 17, he went 7.1 innings and allowed two runs on six hits while receiving the victory. Enright will be making his first career start against the Reds. Aside from the rookie allowing six runs against the Giants during his last start on September 7, Enright has not allowed more than three runs in any of his past ten starts.

TUESDAY: Travis Wood (5-2, 3.33) vs. Daniel Hudson (6-2, 2.86) at 7:10pm

Travis Wood and Daniel Hudson will both be making their fourteenth start of the 2010 season on Tuesday and both pitchers have faced their opponent only once during their career. During Wood's only career start against the Diamondbacks on August 19, the left-hander received the win as he hurled 6.1 innings of one-run four-hit baseball. On August 17, Daniel Hudson received the loss against the Reds as he went seven innings and allowed three earned runs on nine hits.

WEDNESDAY: Homer Bailey (3-3, 4.70) vs. Joe Saunders (8-15, 4.70) at 7:10pm

Homer Bailey has faced the Snakes just once during his career and has yet to start against them this season. Joe Saunders has faced the Reds once during his career and it occurred on August 19, 2010. As the Reds defeated the Arizona 9-5, Saunders hurled six innings and allowed four earned runs on eight hits while receiving the loss.

THURSDAY: Edinson Volquez (3-2, 5.14) vs. Rodrigo Lopez (5-14, 5.13) at 12:35pm

Edinson Volquez has faced the Diamondbacks twice during his career (0-0, 5.91) and once this season. On August 18, Volquez allowed five earned runs on six hits in just 4.2 innings pitched against Arizona, but walked away with a win as the Reds won 11-7. Lopez received the loss during that game as he allowed three earned runs on eight hits during his five innings of work. During his career, Lopez has started against the Reds five times and is 1-0 with a 6.10 ERA. Lopez has gone 0-6 during his last ten starts and has not won a game since July 8 against the Florida Marlins.

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JOHN FAY

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