Sunday, March 31, 2019

MLB Game Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds - 3/31/2019 - 1:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds - Date: 3/31/2019 Reds, Pirates ready for second chance at Game 2 The Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates are taking a do-over on the game that was supposed to be played Saturday at Great American Ballpark.The teams were rained out after a delay of about an hour, so their second game of the season will be Sunday in a shortened two-game series. Saturday's game will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader on Memorial Day, May 27.Because the game Saturday never started, the teams have the opportunity to go with the same starting pitchers Sunday.Cincinnati right-hander Sonny Gray (11-9, 4.90 ERA in 2018), is scheduled to oppose Pittsburgh right-hander Trevor Williams (14-10, 3.11 ERA in 2018).Gray, acquired in January from the Yankees, gave up just one run with 11 strikeouts in 10 innings in the spring.Williams was dominant in the second half of last season. After the All-Star break, he was 7-3 with a 1.38 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP and .217 opposing batting average.He has reworked his curveball since the end of last season, but Williams still has the same drive."I want to make every start," Williams told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I can't have a repeat of the same season that I did last year. NHL Handicappers. That's impossible. I can either do better or do worse. How much better or how much worse? That's completely dependent on my performance on the field." Right-hander Joe Musgrove, who had been scheduled to start Sunday for Pittsburgh, will have his season debut pushed back to a date to be determined.Right-hander Chris Archer previously had been named as the Pittsburgh starter for Monday's home opener against St. Louis, and the Pirates will stick with that. Jameson Taillon, who took the loss Thursday, will start again Wednesday after a day of f Tuesday for Pittsburgh and the Cardinals.Cincinnati doesn't plan any changes to its rotation other than everyone being moved back a day.The Pirates are expected to have center fielder Starling Marte in the lineup Sunday. He was a late scratch because of a migraine Thursday when the teams opened the season with a 5-3 Reds win. Marte was scheduled to play Saturday before the rain stepped in.While Gray has yet to play for the Reds, several newcomers figured into their win Thursday.Derek Dietrich hit a pinch-hit three-run homer, Jose Iglesias hit two doubles and drove in a run, and David Hernandez earned a save by getting Pittsburgh's Corey Dickerson to ground out at the end of a 12-pitch at-bat with the bases loaded in the ninth."To be in the situation where we could have a player like Jose Iglesias step in, it put us in a much better situation than we would have been," Reds manager David Bell said. "Then Derek Dietrich adds such a good player off the b ench. Having someone like that, who's had success pinch-hitting and being a role player, he's going to contribute a lot this year." Iglesias is starting at shortstop as part of the fallout from second baseman Scooter Gennett being out at least the first two months of the season because of a severe groin strain."I think we've brought in the right guys that have won before and have been in big games," Hernandez said. "I think over the course of the season, that will rub off on the guys. I think that's key for us to try and get off to a good start and show the guys we have what it takes to win some ballgames." --Field Level Media