Mat Latos has been considered the likely favorite to start the Wild Card play-in game against the Pirates at PNC Park on Tuesday, but Reds manager Dusty Baker told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer after today’s game that Johnny Cueto will get the call.
Latos probably would have been the choice if he was 100 percent, but Baker said that his arm is “barking” right now. The good news is that Cueto has been solid since returning from his lat strain, allowing two runs (one earned) over 12 innings while striking out 10 batters and walking four.
Cueto will be opposed by Francisco Liriano, who has a 1.47 ERA in 11 starts at home this season.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.
According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.