Friday, September 17, 1999

Scouting report: Reds at Pirates




        • Where: Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh.

        • When: 7:05 p.m. today, 1:19 p.m. Saturday, 1:15 p.m. Sunday.

        • Records: Reds 87-59, second in NL Central; Pirates 71-74, third in NL Central.

        • Radio: WLW-AM (700).

        • TV: Channel 19, Saturday.

At the plate
        The era of the longball has definitely spread to Pittsburgh. The Pirates have slugged a club-record 160 home runs, breaking the franchise record of 158 in 1966. With 460 extra-base hits, Pittsburgh must average more than two extra-base hits per game for the rest of the season to break the 1925 franchise mark of 498.

        Rookie of the Year candidate Warren Morris is batting .297 with 14 homers and 69 RBI, the most by a Pittsburgh rookie since Jose Guillen had 70 in 1997. Few people outside of Pittsburgh realize it, but center fielder Brian Giles (.310, 37 homers, 109 RBI) has had an outstanding season.

On the mound
        • Today: Ron Villone (8-6, 4.12 ERA) vs. Todd Ritchie (12-9, 3.66).

        • Saturday: Steve Parris (9-2, 3.74) vs. Chris Peters (5-1, 6.44).

        • Sunday: Pete Harnisch (14-9, 3.72) vs. Jason Schmidt (12-10, 4.15).

        Ritchie has overcome a case of tendinitis in his shoulder that forced him onto the disabled list in late August. He's 6-3 with a 2.78 ERA in his last 11 starts.

        Peters' record is somewhat deceiving. Besides his inflated ERA, he also sports a .320 opponents' batting average. Schmidt leads the Pirates in innings (193) and strikeouts (140).

        Right-hander Mike Williams has 22 saves but has slumped recently, with his ERA rising from 2.22 to 4.19 in his last 11 appearances.

Outlook
        The Reds have won 6-of-10 games against Pittsburgh this year, including five of the last seven.

       



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