Reds downplay losing chance to host wild card
CINCINNATI — With Sunday's game a formality, Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker revealed that Johnny Cueto, not Mat Latos, will start Tuesday's wild-card game at PNC Park.
Cueto was scheduled to pitch Sunday against Gerrit Cole, but the Pirates' win Saturday secured home-field advantage for the chance to advance to the National League Division Series. Cueto will be making his third appearance since coming off the disabled list (1-0, 0.75 ERA in those three starts; 5-2, 2.82 ERA overall).
The right-hander, who was on the DL with a strained right lat three times this season, is 13-4 with a 2.37 ERA all-time against the Pirates and 8-2 with a 1.90 ERA at PNC Park.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle also said he'll rest Cole and instead start Brandon Cumpton for the regular-season finale. Cole then will be “in line” in case something out of the ordinary happens to starter Francisco Liriano, Hurdle said.
Greg Reynolds (1-2) will start Sunday for the Reds.
After Saturday's game, Baker admitted disappointment in not being able to win two of three at home and host the wild-card game.
“This hurts big time, but you can't bring it back, and you can't dwell on it,” Baker said. “You have to start over again.”
In 2012, the road teams won both National League and American League wild-card games. And in the NLDS, the Reds won the first two games at San Francisco before the Giants won two in Cincinnati and, ultimately, the series.
“I think with one game I'm not sure there is an advantage one way or another,” Reds first baseman Joey Votto said. “It's almost like flipping a coin sort of thing. Maybe because they're home they might have a 51 percent chance and we have 49, but you know what? They proved here and we proved in Pittsburgh that home field can be a bit overrated.
“I'm sure they'll feel like it's a real advantage, and that's fine, but I've noticed over the last few years that the best teams, the teams that win championships, have to overcome something on the road.”
Reds right fielder Jay Bruce also recalled his team's road playoff success last year.
“We're capable of winning anywhere,” he said. “When you go play on the road it's a little tougher ‘atmosphere,' but you play good baseball you win, and that's what we're going to have to do.”
Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen knows where he'd rather play.
“It's better to be home than on the road,” he said. “That's the way I look at it. That's all that needs to be said about it.”
Pirates right fielder Marlon Byrd said it's important the team keeps its focus but embrace the moment.
“It's a city of sports fanatics,” he said. “They've been waiting for us. The Steelers have been winning. The Penguins have been winning. They've been waiting on the Pirates, and now here we come. We made sure we were able to bring it back to Pittsburgh, and now it's time to really get it done.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates notebook: Harrison’s day cut short by ankle injury
- Spring training breakdown: Blue Jays 4, Pirates 1
- Blue Jays’ Martin has ‘nothing but praise’ for former Pirates teammates
- Pirates look to put more pressure on opposition through improved baserunning
- Surgeon to examine Pirates’ Cumpton after pitcher experienced elbow discomfort
- Pirates special instructor Tekulve taking second chance to heart
- Burnett’s farewell tour wishlist has just 1 item: Pirates World Series
- Pirates notebook: Infield prospect Hanson used to playing elders
- Pirates notebook: Sadler gets first Grapefruit start
- Spring training breakdown: Pirates 8, Blue Jays 7
- Pirates starting pitcher Worley is in right place, right time with team