National League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, July 9 (All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (38-51) at Cincinnati Reds (48-42), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Dallas Beeler (0-1, 0.00) Cincinnati - Alfredo Simon (11-3, 2.78)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The poster boy for 2014 All-Star snubs, veteran right- hander Alfredo Simon gets his first pitching call since not getting the celebratory call when the Cincinnati Reds face the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night in game four of a five-game series at Great American Ball Park.
Simon has won five straight decisions heading into the meeting with the reeling Cubs, who've dropped the first three games of the series -- including both ends of Tuesday's doubleheader.
The Reds will send four other players to the All-Star game in Minnesota, but Simon will not join them in spite of tying for the National League lead in wins (11) and ranking in the top 10 in opposition batting average (.222).
He tossed 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball on Friday to beat Milwaukee, 4-2, and boost his record to 5-0 and lower his earned run average to 2.63 over his last seven starts. Four starters who were selected to the NL team, including Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto, are scheduled to pitch again on Sunday, which could ultimately lead to a call as a replacement for the 33-year-old.
"I have the numbers for the All-Star team but it's not up to me," he said. "Every time I go out, I just try to do my best. I keep trying to put zeroes on the board. I've never had 11 wins before but my arm is like a 20-year old."
Simon is 2-0 with a glittering 1.42 ERA in three games against Chicago this season. Cincinnati is 8-3 against the Cubs in 2014 and 31-9 against them in the last 40 games.
A win Wednesday would equal the Reds' longest streak of the season, five games.
"It just unifies all of us," manager Bryan Price said.. "We just feel really good right now."
Chicago has lost five in a row after winning four straight, and has been outscored, 34-11, in the process.
"This one's tough on us all," Chicago's Anthony Rizzo said. "It's not easy to swallow."
Pitcher Dallas Beeler gets his second start for the pitching-vacant Cubs, who sent two top starters -- Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel -- to Oakland via trade. Beeler tossed six innings in a June 28 major league debut while allowing a single unearned run in a 3-0 loss to Washington.
On Tuesday, Billy Hamilton's single in the ninth inning completed a five-run comeback to help the Reds sweep a doubleheader from the Cubs with a 6-5 win.
Brayan Pena blooped a single into shallow left to begin the ninth off Hector Rondon (1-3) before Devin Mesoraco ripped a single into left that allowed pinch-runner Mike Leake a chance to move to third. Hamilton then slapped a single into left that drove in Leake to give the Reds their fourth straight win.
Logan Ondrusek (3-2) capped 6 1/3 scoreless innings from the Cincinnati bullpen with two innings of relief to earn the win.
In the day contest, Cueto tossed 6 1/3 strong innings to lead the Reds to a 4-2 win.
07/09 10:42:21 ET