Saturday, June 25, 2016

Lefties Finnegan, Pomeranz square off in Cincy

Two of the best young left-handed pitchers in the National League will face off on Saturday in the third of four games between the Reds and Padres at Great American Ball Park.
The Padres will send Drew Pomeranz (6-7, 3.00 ERA) to the mound, a 27-year-old former top prospect having a solid season in San Diego, posting the seventh-lowest ERA among qualified left-handers in the Majors this season heading into Saturday. Opposing him is 23-year-old Brandon Finnegan (3-5, 3.81 ERA), who is second among Reds' pitchers with at least five starts in ERA and has the 12th-lowest ERA among southpaws this season.
Pomeranz is making his 15th start of the season, the second most he's made in his injury-plagued career. He started out the season with a 1.70 ERA through his first nine starts, but over his last five outings has posted a 5.46 ERA, allowing five homers. He is, however, coming off of a six-inning quality start in which he struck out seven Nationals and allowed three runs, earning his sixth win of the season.
Finnegan's season has taken the opposite trajectory, with a hot start that fizzled to a 4.14 ERA by the end of May. In his four June starts, though, the lefty is 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA and an average of more than six innings per start.
Things to know about this game:
• The Reds will induct Pete Rose into their team Hall of Fame in a pregame ceremony starting at 3:30 p.m. ET. The ceremony will include more than 20 Reds Hall of Famers, including Barry Larkin, Johnny Bench and Eric Davis.
• The Padres remain without center fielder Jon Jay, who hasn't played since getting hit in the forearm on June 19. In Jay's absence, Travis Jankowski has been playing well, hitting .250 with a .348 on base percentage and four stolen bases.
"Offensively, what's been great is he's put in so much work with [hitting coach Alan Zinter] in there and he hasn't had the at bats to kind of prove that his work is paying off," Padres manager Andy Green said. "It's a good lesson to all of us, it's a good lesson to his teammates to see him work that hard and get some results right now and hopefully he keeps it going."
• Finnegan makes the third lefty the Padres have faced this series, with John Lamb and Cody Reed starting the first two for Cincinnati. After going a combined 3-for-6 against Reed Friday, Wil Myers is hitting .317 against lefties and Matt Kemp is hitting .356. Both are among the top 20 averages against lefties in the National League this season.

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