04/16: Reds (5-5) @ Pirates (4-5)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Spent longer time than usual in the clubhouse, which has me a bit behind at this point. Since I’ve got plenty of non-blogging work to get done before this game gets underway (if it does…), I’m going to keep it short.

Before getting to the obligatory news and notes section, here are some thoughts from manager John Russell about how he feels these first nine games have gone so far…

“We need to settle down with our starting rotation. We need to pitch better. Through those games, I think we’ve shown the versatility of our offense. When we’ve pitched well, we’ve done some very good things offensively. The record is what it is, but there are a lot of good positives. We have realized that if our starting pitching settles down like we think it will, we really like the makeup of the club.

“Last year, I don’t know how we would have fared on that road trip. This year, we won two games against two very good pitchers. Last year we do well against a good pitcher and find a way to lose it late. I really like the makeup of the club. These guys have really pulled together. They continue to talk about that they’re a team. They’ve picked each other up. Even when we lose, guys come up to my door and say, ‘Hey, we’ll get them tomorrow.’ It’s good. They kind of back it up. It’s been fun to watch how they’ve grown together.

“It could have been a lot worse. These guys came in here today and are anxious to get going again. That’s fun to be around.”

The rest of your pregame info…

  • The Pirates didn’t make a roster move today, but you can expect not to see Ross Ohlendorf on Saturday. He threw long toss earlier before the rain started, but the right-hander still hasn’t thrown off a mound. Ohlendorf said he anticipates getting on the mound in the next few days, possibly before the end of the weekend. He added that he is feeling much better… and about 90 percent.
  • Russell said that it is not a guarantee that Ohlendorf will go on the DL if he doesn’t pitch on Saturday. Why wouldn’t he? Well, if the Pirates thought he could pitch early next week, that would be one reason to leave him off.
  • Brian Burres remains with the team, as does Daniel McCutchen (who is not even officially on the 25-man roster). You have to assume that the only reason McCutchen is still around is because he is going to fill in tomorrow. He was optioned to Triple-A last Monday, you might remember.
  • Hayden Penn has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis. He has until Monday to report, but can decide to be a free agent if he prefers that route instead.
  • MLB celebrated Jackie Robinson Day on Thursday, though the Pirates will have their own celebration today. The entire club will wear No. 42 jerseys, as will the Reds, who did it on Thursday already. There will also be an on-field presentation to recognize local winners of the annual Jackie Robinson Essay and Poetry contest.
  • Fans coming to Saturday’s game will be able to donate to the Montcoal Mining Disaster Fund before and during the game. Players and team personnel will be collecting donations at the gates beginning at 5:30 pm and staff will remain there until after the third inning. Also, Pirates Charities will be holding a silent auction outside the main guest relations office.
  • The Pirates might be having trouble pitching these days, but they are running with impressive efficiency and success. The team is 10-for-10 in stolen base attempts, with Andrew McCutchen accounting for half of those.
  • It is currently raining here at the park and doesn’t appear to be letting up soon. The forecast isn’t pretty, so playing tonight is by no means guaranteed.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Aki Iwamura (2B)
  2. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  3. Lastings Milledge (LF)
  4. Garrett Jones (RF)
  5. Ryan Doumit (C)
  6. Jeff Clement (1B)
  7. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  8. Zach Duke (LHP)
  9. Ronny Cedeno (SS)

Reds lineup:

  1. Drew Stubbs (CF)
  2. Orlando Cabrera (SS)
  3. Brandon Phillips (2B)
  4. Jonny Gomes (LF)
  5. Miguel Cairo (1B)
  6. Jay Bruce (RF)
  7. Ryan Hanigan (C)
  8. Paul Janish (3B)
  9. Mike Leake (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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