With 16 games left before the end of the season, the Pirates and Reds will try to squeeze in one last doubleheader on Saturday at 12:10 PM EDT and 6:10 PM EDT. It’s the fourth postponed game the Pirates have had to account for this year, and the Reds’ first.
Kicking off Game 1 is Pirates’ right-hander Jameson Taillon, who was skipped over in the last rotation cycle in order to preserve his innings limit as the season winds down. Barring a five-run, three-inning hiccup against the Brewers in late August, the rookie has been rock-solid for the Pirates, polishing a 3.27 and 1.5 fWAR over 15 outings with the club.
Opposite Taillon, Reds’ starter Anthony DeSclafani is chasing his ninth win after giving up four runs on four homers in his last two outings. The right-hander was scratched from his last scheduled start, and although it reportedly had nothing to do with physical setbacks, the mental and physical break should do him some good as he approaches his final appearances of the year.
DeSclafani has worked to improve his peripheral stats in 2016, bringing his 2.68 BB/9 rate down to 1.84 and raising his K/9 rate from 7.36 to 7.88, but his home run rate has jumped from 0.83 HR/9 to a career-worst mark of 1.17. The problem isn’t confined to his pitching line, either — the Reds’ pitching staff currently ranks last among major league clubs with 236 home runs issued in 2016.
In the evening, the Pirates and Reds will duke it out a second time with rookie right-hander Trevor Williams and Cincinnati southpaw Brandon Finnegan. It’s the first MLB start for Williams, who contributed four innings in relief after getting called up from Triple-A Indianapolis on September 7. Finnegan, meanwhile, is facing a potential season shutdown after grinding through 164 2/3 innings in his first full season as a starter, though manager Bryan Price wouldn’t completely rule out a comeback. Finnegan is 9-10 on the year with a 4.04 ERA, due in no small part to his league-leading 29 home runs allowed.
You can find more from Saturday’s action below.
Pittsburgh Pirates (Jameson Taillon) @ Cincinnati Reds (Anthony DeSclafani), 12:10 PM EDT, Game 1
Pittsburgh Pirates (Trevor Williams) @ Cincinnati Reds (Brandon Finnegan), 6:10 PM EDT, Game 2
New York Yankees (Bryan Mitchell) @ Boston Red Sox (David Price), 1:05 PM EDT
Washington Nationals (Gio Gonzalez) @ Atlanta Braves (Josh Collmenter), 1:05 PM EDT
Oakland Athletics (Raul Alcantara) @ Texas Rangers (Yu Darvish), 8:05 PM EDT
Los Angeles Dodgers (Brock Stewart) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Shelby Miller), 8:10 PM EDT
Houston Astros (Houston Astros) @ Seattle Mariners (James Paxton), 9:10 PM EDT