Trying again to clinch
Tues lineup vs. HOU
*The Reds clinch with a victory tonight. If they lose, they’ll have to wait out the end of the Cardinals-Pirates game (8:15 pm ET first pitch).
*Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez is a tough left-hander but is 1-1 with a 6.06 ERA in three starts vs. the Reds this season. However on July 25 in Houston, he pitched seven scoreless innings with one hit for a 4-0 win. On Sept. 17, he gave up three runs, three hits and six walks with 10 strikeouts for a no-decision in a 5-3 Astros win.
*Jonny Gomes is 7-for-18 (.389) with two homers and nine RBIs vs. Rodriguez
*Jay Bruce is 1-for-17 (.059) with 10 strikeouts, so that’s a little surprising. Bruce was also bothered by a sore right side again Sunday but its OK.
“I feel good, I feel ready to go,” Bruce said. “I haven’t faced Wandy much lately just because we’ve played the matchup a little bit but I feel that I have improved off of lefthanders and proven myself a little more to where he can put me in there. But it was Dusty’s decision and I appreciate the fact that he has the confidence in me to let me get in.”
*Dusty Baker said Sunday he was going to put Brandon Phillips back to leadoff but appeared to change his mind.
*Not surprisingly, there is a larger media gathering at GABP than usual. I’d guess that it rivals what we normally have on Opening Day. There is a definite vibe on anticipation in the area. Baker acknowledged it’s a different day.
“It’s a day where you strive to get to this point for so very long,” Baker said. “You run this race and you’re one step from the finish line. You’re full of anticipation and desire to finish it tonight. It’s great we’re in a position to do this at home. I’ve done it both ways. It’s a lot more fun and a lot more exhilarating when you can do it in front of your fans, friends and family. It’s a great feeling.”
Scott Rolen is a veteran of some clinches and was looking forward as well, but wasn’t looking ahead too much.
“We still have to play baseball. I don’t mean to be Debbie Downer,” Rolen said. “We’ll go out and play and hopefully get us a win tonight instead of waiting to see what [the Cardinals] do. We’ll get in here, put some tarps up, put on some terrible music on and get some champagne going.”
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