Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Preview, Tuesday 9/18, 7:05 CT

US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The best news I can give you this afternoon about tonight's game is that it's not going to rain. Thus, if the game runs till 1:28 a.m. again, it's because the teams are playing a relentlessly slow game that's gone into long extra innings. (Please, no. One of those a year is enough.)

The Reds' magic number to clinch the NL Central title is 5. Thus, if the Cardinals can win two of three in Houston, the Reds cannot clinch the division at Wrigley Field even if they sweep the Cubs. That would seem to be an easy task -- the Cardinals have essentially done that so far this year, going 6-3 vs. the Astros -- but Houston is suddenly feisty, going 8-7 so far in September and taking three of four from the Phillies over the weekend.

The Cubs can help prevent a Reds clinching at Wrigley by winning one or two of the games against the Reds (one win would require a St. Louis win in combination to ensure the Reds don't clinch in Chicago; two would do it outright). The Reds, though, are 9-4 against the Cubs and have won five of the last seven between the two teams.

At least it's not going to rain.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus RF, Valbuena 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Castro SS, Clevenger C, Jackson CF, Barney 2B, Germano P

Reds lineup:

Phillips 2B, Stubbs CF, Votto 1B, Ludwick LF, Bruce RF, Rolen 3B, Hanigan C, Valdez SS, Bailey P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Justin Germano
Justin Germano
Cubs
vs. Homer Bailey
Homer Bailey
Reds
2-7 W-L 11-9
6.24 ERA 3.93
34 SO 142
12 BB 47
5 HR 24
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Justin Germano 2-7 10 9 0 0 0 0 49.0 58 38 34 5 12 34 6.24 1.43


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Homer Bailey 11-9 30 29 1 0 0 0 181.0 193 91 79 24 47 142 3.93 1.33

This game is a pitching rematch of the game August 10 at Wrigley Field. Truth be told, neither Homer Bailey nor Justin Germano pitched well that afternoon; both threw 5⅔ innings and gave up four earned runs. Germano gave up a home run to Ryan Ludwick and the Reds eventually won 10-8. Since that game, Germano has been 12 shades of awful, posting a 7.50 ERA in six starts covering 30 innings. Bailey, also in six starts, has thrown 39⅔ innings with a 3.40 ERA and has posted a 1.66 ERA this month. Doomed, I think we are.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

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. The usual caution is advised.

Today's first pitch thread will post at 7:05 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 8:05, 9:05 and 9:50 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section. Also please note: due to some under-the-hood changes, the sidebar box with the game thread links is no longer available. It seems you've found them with no problems, but if you haven't been able to find the overflow threads, click the "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" link under "Sections" on the left sidebar. They're all in there.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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