Monday, April 12, 2010

Series Preview: Cincinnati Reds @ Florida Marlins 4/12 - 4/15

April 12, 2010


Game 1
7:10 PM ET, April 12, 2010
Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
Johnny Cueto (0-0, 3.00 ERA) vs Ricky Nolasco (0-0, 4.05 ERA)

Ricky Nolasco will take the mound for the second time this season after receiving a no decision for his first outing in New York. The Marlins have averaged just over 5 runs in the last five games and Nolasco will be looking for that kind of offensive support against the Reds. Cueto has only one career start versus the Marlins, but he came away with a victory on six innings, eight strikeouts and three earned runs in that start. Expect Jorge Cantu to continue his recent success at the plate as he has homered twice off Cueto in his three career at bats. On the other end, Reds clean-up batter Brandon Phillips has not succeeded against Nolasco in the past, facing Ricky eight times and going down on strikes in four of those appearances.

Game 2
7:10 PM ET, April 13, 2010
Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
Bronson Arroyo (0-0,1.13 ERA) vs Nate Robertson (1-0,1.80 ERA)

Nate Robertson had a decent showing in his first start as a Marlin after securing a win at Citi Field versus the Mets. Robertson pitched five innings and allowed one run during that span, but got into high pitch counts early in the game. His counter-part, Bronson Arroyo, is coming off an impressive eight innings, one run performance against the high-powered St. Louis Cardinals. This pitching duel will be an interesting one to watch, as two savvy veterans will try to prove they still have what it takes. Marlins star SS Hanley Ramirez has not had much success against Arroyo, only batting .222 with two hits in nine at bats, but the tides could change with a more mature, patient Ramirez at the plate.

Game 3
7:10 PM ET, April 14, 2010
Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
Homer Bailey (0-0, 5.40 ERA) vs Chris Volstad (0-1, 2.84 ERA)

Chris Volstad will look to rebound after a disappointing loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on the home opener. Volstad only allowed two runs in 6.1 innings pitched, but received no help from the offense and had poor support from the bullpen, leading to his first loss of the year. On the other end, Homer Bailey will look to make his second career start versus the Marlins. Bailey struck out seven and allowed one run in his first showing against the Fish. Similarly, Volstad will also be making his second career start versus the Reds, which should make interesting match-ups for opposing batters. Both pitchers have been known to allow runs when struggling to find command early in a game. Expect one team to capitalize on those mistakes. The Marlins can only hope that Bailey will be the one making them.

Game 4
7:10 PM ET, April 15, 2010
Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
Aaron Harang (0-1, 4.50 ERA) vs Josh Johnson (0-1, 6.30 ERA)

Josh Johnson has yet to tally his first win of the season after two starts so far. But a third start may be the charm for JJ after two mediocre starts in New York and at home. Reds Ace Aaron Harang has experienced similar struggles through his first two starts as well, yielding three runs in each of those games. Unfortunately, Harang must face Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla, which have posted four home runs and two home runs, respectively, and high-.300 batting averages against him. In JJ's favor, he has fared well against the Reds' lineup, only sacrificing one homer to newly acquired Miguel Cairo. As the final game in a four-game series, this should play out to be one of the most exciting match-ups in the series.   

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