The Cubs have not played well against the Reds this year, going 4-11, and have not won a series against them in Cincinnati in more than a year (since they took two of three from August 3-5, 2009).
They've got the chance to do that this afternoon. It does look very much like the Reds are going to win the NL Central; obviously, with more than a month remaining in the season, the Cardinals, who trail by four games, still have a good shot at overtaking Cincinnati. But St. Louis, somehow, doesn't seem to have what they had last year when they won the division with 91 victories.
Today is the final game of the year between the Cubs and Reds -- but the Cubs may still have a say in who wins the division, because they've got six games remaining with the Cardinals in September.
Speaking of Kosuke Fukudome, as we were in the recap of last night's game, he is now hitting .273/.378/.447, clearly having the best year of his three-year MLB career. Do you think he's figured things out and would be valuable to keep next year? Or is he increasing his trade value to the point where the Cubs could get someone else to take his contract?
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2010 - Casey Coleman||1-1||6||2||0||0||0||0||19.0||19||12||12||1||10||9||5.68||1.53|
|2010 - Travis Wood||4-2||10||10||0||0||0||0||61.1||43||26||23||6||17||49||3.38||.98|
Travis Wood has made ten major league starts. Two of them have been against the Cubs, including his major league debut on July 1 at Wrigley Field. The league appears to have begun to figure him out; after he posted a 2.87 ERA in six July starts, he has a 4.18 ERA in four so far this month. He got pounded hard in his last outing against the Giants; let's hope the Cubs can keep that up today. Jeff Baker, who leads off today, is the only Cub to homer off him.
Since he had a horrific ML debut relief appearance against the Brewers, Casey Coleman has a 3.24 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in three other relief outings and two starts. He threw very well in his last start vs. the Nationals and picked up his first ML win. Today will be his first start against the Reds, but he did throw three innings of relief against them on August 8 at Wrigley Field, allowing two runs in three innings.
Cubs lineup via tweet from CubsInsider:
#Cubs lineup @ #Reds (8/29): Baker 2B, Castro SS, Byrd CF, Ramirez 3B, Nady 1B, Soriano LF, Soto C, Fukudome RF, Coleman P
Reds lineup via tweet from the official Reds Twitter account:
8/29 Reds Lineup Stubbs CF Valaika 2B Votto 1B Rolen 3B Bruce RF Heisey LF Hernandez C Janish SS Travis Wood P
Today's game is on WGN and FSN Ohio. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Please visit our SB Nation Reds site Red Reporter.
Today's first pitch thread will be up at noon CDT, and the overflows will post at 1:15 pm, 2:15 pm and 3 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.