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Previewing Wednesday's Pirates-Reds game

Pirates/MLB Videos

Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 7:03 p.m.
 

X-factors

Pirates beat reporter Travis Sawchik'sinside look at Wednesday's game:

• Francisco Liriano has done an excellent job neutralizing the Reds' top two offensive threats: Jay Bruce and Joey Votto. The two lefties are a combined 2 for 21 with eight strikeouts and no RBIs or extra-base hits in their careers against Liriano. Liriano's slider was historically good against left-handed hitters last season, helping him limit them to a .321 OPS, an all-time best for a lefty pitcher vs. lefty hitters (min: 100 plate appearances).

• Andrew McCutchen entered Tuesday in search of his first home run of the season. He has three career home runs in 39 at bats against Reds starter Johnny Cueto. McCutchen also had doubled twice and drawn five walks vs. Cueto. McCutchen is the only Pirates player to homer off of Cueto in a regular-season game.

The Buzz

From Baseball America writer J.J. Cooper via Twitter: “Gregory Polanco has a pretty unusual combo of tools and skills. Can a guy that big/tall have AVG, OBP, SLG and SBs?....(Jason) Heyward, (Darryl) Strawberry had similar tools coming up, but turned into lower avg. sluggers.”

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