Last night was rough. That's fine. The Pirates have played three games in Cincinnati, and all three games have generally been well-played, close baseball games. I think a split was always going to be the best outcome for this series for the Pirates and that's still possible. It's a bit of a long shot today, though; Brandon Cumpton is taking the mound for his second big league start against Homer Bailey, and that's not a good matchup for the Pirates at all.
Cumpton was pretty good in his first start and those four strikeouts to start the game were pretty magical, but the Dodgers figured him out the second time through the lineup. One of the bigger concerns with him pitching big league games is how his slider will look to left-handed hitters. I'm kind of nervous to get an answer to that against Jay Bruce and Joey Votto in an afternoon game at Great American Ballpark. Bailey, meanwhile, has blossomed this year. His strikeouts are up to almost one per inning, his groundballs are up, and he's finally looking like the pitcher the Reds hoped he could be way back in 2007. Given that he also no-hit the Pirates last fall, facing him today makes me nervous.
Many of you probably saw this this morning, since it's generally lit the Pirate Twitterverse on fire. I need a little more time to get a post together since there's a day game today, but I'll get it together soon. First pitch today is at 12:35.