Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Preview, Tuesday 9/13, 6:10 CT

Starlin Castro of the Chicago Cubs receives congratulations after scoring during a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Cubs defeated the Reds 12-8. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

Monday night's win accomplished two things:

  • Put the Cubs in position for only their second four game (or more) winning streak of the season (the other one was the seven-game streak in early August)
  • Put the Cubs in position, if they can go just 8-7 over the season's remaining 15 games, to finish with fewer than 90 losses

Small things. Like last year, this team is making a late run, which we discovered after last September's run to be mostly meaningless. Still, I much prefer seeing the Cubs win, to seeing loss after loss. Plus, beating the Reds is always fun. The Cubs trail the Pirates for fourth place by only two games. Some of you might say, "Take the higher draft pick!" But, not even knowing who's going to be out there next June, I'll take the higher finish.

Cubs lineup:

Castro SS, Barney 2B, Ramirez 3B, Pena 1B, LaHair RF, Soriano LF, Byrd CF, Soto C, Dempster P

Reds lineup:

Phillips 2B, Renteria SS, Votto 1B, Bruce RF, Alonso LF, Stubbs CF, Francisco 3B, Mesoraco C, Leake P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster
Cubs
vs. Mike Leake
Mike Leake
Reds
10-11 W-L 11-9
4.74 ERA 4.00
169 SO 116
64 BB 36
20 HR 23
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Ryan Dempster 10-11 31 30 0 0 0 0 176.2 186 96 93 20 64 169 4.74 1.42


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Mike Leake 11-9 32 25 0 0 0 0 159.2 153 73 71 23 36 116 4.00 1.18

Ryan Dempster will be making his fifth start against the Reds this year. The teams will play 18 times this season -- more matchups than the Cubs have had against any other team. Dempster has thrown well vs. Cincinnati this year: a 2.88 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and only one home run allowed in 25 innings. Current Reds are hitting .240 (47-for-196) against Dempster, who is looking to finish up the season strong.

Mike Leake nearly threw a two-hit shutout against the Cubs in his last start, September 6 at Wrigley Field, that is, until Bryan LaHair tied the game with a home run. Reports are that Leake will be shut down for the rest of the year after tonight. Let's have the Cubs give him a sendoff with more home runs.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago Plus (check your cable listings) and FSN Ohio. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Reds site Red Reporter.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 6:10 p.m. CDT and the overflow threads will post at 7 pm, 8 pm and 8:45 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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