Baseball Press presents "The 606", a look at the most intriguing pitching matchup of the day, with a final prediction of the winning pitcher. You may be asking yourself "What exactly does The 606 mean? There's no major league baseball for that area code- it's in Eastern Kentucky!" BBP isn't listing players from Eastern Kentucky either. The 606 is short for 60 feet and 6 inches. If you still don't understand, I direct your attention to Official Rule 1.07 from Major League Baseball, referring to the distance from the pitching mound to home plate. Now that we've got that squared away, let's take a look at today's featured pitching matchup for Friday, September 3rd.
Yesterday in the 606, Tim Hudson
went 7 innings but was unable to to silence the Mets' bats enough to avoid a loss, just his sixth of the season.
Loss: Tim Hudson (7 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1.43 WHIP)
The 606 Season-to-Date Record (W-L-ND): 102-87-63, 3.72 ERA (651 ER in 1576 IP)
Today in the 606, it's absolute war as the NL Central-leading Cincinnati Reds send their veteran wins leader to the mound against St. Louis and their rookie revelation.
RHP Bronson Arroyo - CIN (14-8 3.82 ERA) vs. LHP Jaime Garcia - STL (12-6, 2.33 ERA)
The Reds haven't fared well against the Cardinals this season, but they roll into St. Louis on Friday with a 4 game winning streak and send 14 game winner Bronson Arroyo to the mound to attempt to expand their 8 game lead in the National League Central Division. The veteran Arroyo is having a solid 2010 campaign and has now won 14 or more games in 5 of his last 6 seasons. He is the win leader and veteran ace of the heavy-hitting Reds, who look to make a statement with a strong final month and a playoff birth, which would be their first since 1995. Arroyo is striking out just 4.8 batters per nine innings this year, his lowest mark since 2005 and well below his 6.1 career mark. Still, the former Red Sox and Pirates hurler has gotten it done this year, averaging 6.72 innings per start and taking decisions in 22 of his 27 outings. His 3.82 ERA and 1.15 WHIP are similar to his final numbers from 2009 (3.84 and 1.27), but the big difference this year has been his ability to limit hits. He's allowing just 7.6 hits per nine innings, good for 10th in the National League, and opposing batters have hit just .230 against him. The Cardinals have given him troubles this year, as he's 1-2 with a 4.78 ERA and 14 walks in 26.1 innings (4 starts), but with the Reds surging and Arroyo posting a 2.88 ERA since the start of July, it's hard not to like his chances for a win in the first game of this intense divisional series.
One of the biggest surprises of the 2010 season has been rookie lefty Jaime Garcia, who has catapulted himself into stardom by posting an otherworldly 2.33 ERA in 25 starts this year. Just 24 years old, Garcia was not on a lot of baseball radars, as he logged just 16 innings back in 2008 and was more well-known for his injury history than his pitching prowess last year. Along with teammates Chris Carpenter
and Adam Wainwright
(who boast 2.92 and 2.30 ERAs, respectively), Garcia has been a driving force that has helped keep the Cardinals in the playoff hunt for most of the year, though the team has slumped lately and would need a major push to overtake the Reds in the final month of play. If the Cards have any hope of making the post-season, they'll need a strong series this weekend against Cincy, and that all starts with their young Rookie of the Year candidate Garcia. He's been lights-out at home, posting a 1.55 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 12 home outings, and he's 3-0 in 3 starts against Cincinnati this year. Garcia has been particularly effective lately, as he hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 3 starts. He'll look to build on that success but with a slumping lineup behind him and a hot-hitting Reds squad opposing, it won't be easy.
Final Prediction: Bronson Arroyo