The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

September 30, 2013

A capsule look at Reds-Pirates wild-card game

A look at the National League wild-card playoff between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates:

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Schedule: Tuesday, at Pittsburgh (8:07 p.m. EDT) (TBS).

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Season Series: Pirates won 11-8.

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Projected Lineups:

Reds: CF Shin-Soo Choo (.285, 21 HRs, 54 RBIs, 20 SB, .423 OBP), LF Ryan Ludwick (.240, 2 HRs, 12 RBIs), 1B Joey Votto (.305, 24 HRs, 73 RBIs, club-record 135 BB), 2B Brandon Phillips (.261, 18 HRs, 103 RBIs), RF Jay Bruce (.262, 30 HRs, 109 RBIs), 3B Todd Frazier (.234, 19 HRs, 73 RBIs), SS Zack Cozart (.254, 12 HRs, 63 RBIs), C Ryan Hanigan (.198, 2 HRs, 21 RBIs).

Pirates: LF Starling Marte (.280, 12 HRs, 35 RBIs, 41 SBs), 2B Neil Walker (.251, 16 HRs, 53 RBIs, 24 2Bs), CF Andrew McCutchen (.317, 21 HRs, 84 RBIs, 27 SBs), RF Marlon Byrd (.291, 24 HRs, 88 RBIs overall; .318, 3 HRs, 17 RBIs in 30 games with the Pirates), 1B Justin Morneau (.259, 17 HRs, 77 RBIs overall; .260, 0 HRs, 3 RBIs in 25 games with the Pirates), 3B Pedro Alvarez (.233, 36 HRs, 100 RBIs, 186 strikeouts), C Russell Martin (.226, 15 HRs, 55 RBIs), SS Clint Barmes (.211, 5 HRs, 23 RBIs).

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Starting Pitchers:

Reds: RH Johnny Cueto (5-2, 2.82 ERA).

Pirates: LH Francisco Liriano (16-8, 3.02 ERA).

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Relievers:

Reds: LH Aroldis Chapman (4-5, 2.54 ERA, 38 saves/43 chances, 112 Ks in 63 2-3 innings), LH Sean Marshall (0-1, 1.74), RH Sam LeCure (2-1, 2.66), RH J.J. Hoover (5-5, 2.86), LH Manny Parra (2-3, 3.33), RH Alfredo Simon (6-4, 2.87).

Pirates: Pirates: RH Jason Grilli (0-2, 2.70, 33 saves/35 chances), RH Mark Melancon (3-2, 1.39, 16 saves/21 chances), LH Tony Watson (3-1, 2.39), LH Justin Wilson (6-1, 2.08), RH Vin Mazzaro (8-2, 2.81), RH Kyle Farnsworth (1-1, 1.04), Bryan Morris (5-7, 3.46), Jeanmar Gomez (3-0, 3.35).

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Matchups:

The winner advances to face the NL Central champion Cardinals in a best-of-five series that begins Thursday in St. Louis. ... The Pirates swept Cincinnati on the final weekend of the season to clinch homefield for the wild-card game. Pittsburgh hasn't won four straight over Cincinnati since July 11-14, 1991. ... The Pirates are in the playoffs for the first time in 21 years. The Reds made it for the third time in four years after winning the Central in 2010 and '12. ... The Ohio River rivals are meeting in the playoffs for the sixth time. They also played in 1970, 1972, 1975, 1979 and 1990, when the Reds won their last World Series title. The Pirates went on to win the NL East title in 1991 and 1992 under manager Jim Leyland before falling into a streak of 20 straight losing seasons, longest among the four major professional sports. ... The Reds are 13-7 against the Pirates in the postseason. Pittsburgh has played the Reds more than any other team in the playoffs. ... It'll be the first playoff game at PNC Park, which opened in 2001. ... The Pirates went 50-31 at PNC Park this season, the third-best home record in the NL behind Atlanta and St. Louis. They were 5-4 there against the Reds. The Reds took two of three at PNC Park in their last series there Sept. 20-22. ... Cueto is 8-2 at PNC Park. ... Liriano went 0-3 in four starts against the Reds this season, although the lack of run support was a significant factor. He allowed one run during a 2-0 loss at PNC Park on June 1, two solo homers during a 4-1 loss in Cincinnati on June 17 and was in line for a win before Cincinnati rallied for three runs in the ninth against the bullpen and took a 6-5, 10-inning win at PNC Park on Sept. 20. ... The rivalry got an edge this season with 28 batters plunked, the most for any season series in the majors. ... The Reds are trying to get a breakthrough in the playoffs. They won the Central in 2010 with 91 victories, then got swept by the Phillies. They won it again last year with 97 victories and took the first two games in San Francisco before dropping three at Great American Ball Park, knocking them out in the first round again. This time, they're a wild card with 90 wins, hoping they can beat Pittsburgh and earn a chance for their first home playoff win in 18 years. ... Pirates C Russell Martin led the majors by throwing out 36 attempted base stealers this season.

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