Interesting subplots often surface when National League Central rivals like the Reds and Cardinals square off. There will be another one Friday night, when the teams open a three-game series at Busch Stadium.
Just after the Cardinals notched their second win in three games Sunday at Great American Ball Park, Reds manager Bryan Price complained that St. Louis right fielder Jason Heyward made "a dirty slide" into third baseman Todd Frazier trying for a triple. The commentscaught the Cardinals by surprise, and Price also indicated there could be a response from his team because of that play.
Reds ace Johnny Cueto will start the series opener against Michael Wacha.
THINGS TO KNOW IN THIS GAME
1. The Reds are 1-20-1 in their last 22 series played at St. Louis, with the Cardinals taking the last eight in a row.
2. Wacha has made more starts against the Reds than any other team in the Majors and has had impressive success against them. He's allowed two or fewer runs in five of his six starts against Cincinnati and has posted an overall ERA of 2.15.
3. Cueto has not historically fared well at Busch Stadium, where his 5.80 ERA in nine games is his worst in any ballpark where he has at least 10 innings pitched.
4. Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco (sore left hip) missed all three games in Chicago and could return for the start of this series. Mesoraco is listed as day to day.