Chicago (63-93) at Cincinnati (76-79)

Fair Currently: Cincinnati, OH
Temp: 81° F
  • Game info: 12:35 pm EDT Mon Sep 25, 2006
  • TV: WGN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Bronson Arroyo has pitched well at Great American Ball Park this season and even better against the Chicago Cubs.

He tries to keep both trends going when he takes the mound for the Cincinnati Reds versus the Cubs Monday in their final home game of the season.

Arroyo (14-10, 3.38 ERA) is 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA in four starts against the Cubs this season. The right-hander pitched eight innings against Chicago in a 4-0 victory on Sept. 15, scattering four hits and three walks while striking out seven.

His four wins versus Chicago are double his season total against any other opponent. Arroyo is 4-3 with a 3.28 ERA in nine career games—including seven starts—versus the Cubs.

He has been tough to stop at home this season as well, going 6-2 with a 2.76 ERA in 16 starts there. However, Arroyo will have to bounce back from a shaky road outing.

Arroyo gave up seven runs and seven hits, including two homers, over 5 1-3 innings of a 7-2 loss at Houston on Wednesday. The outing was his shortest since the All-Star break and snapped a four-game winning streak during which he posted a 1.13 ERA and held opponents to a .142 batting average.

“I felt like I had good stuff today,” said Arroyo, who needs one more win to reach his career high for a season. “I felt like I was handling the game pretty good early on … I thought we could keep it close and battle for a close win.”

He will follow Aaron Harang, who pitched his fifth complete game of the season Sunday to lift Cincinnati to a 3-2 victory. Harang struck out nine and didn’t issue a walk, extending his streak of consecutive starts without walking more than three batters to 79.

The Reds (76-79) rallied for the win in the bottom of the ninth when Royce Clayton’s pinch-hit single drove in Chris Denorfia for the deciding run.

“I was just up there trying to battle,” said Clayton, whose hit came on the 11th pitch of his at-bat. “I knew if I hooked one to third base, it could be a double play, so I was trying to stay up the middle.”

Cincinnati improved to 41-39 at Great American Ball Park, guaranteeing back-to-back winning seasons at home.

With seven games remaining, though, Cincinnati remains on the outside of the playoff picture. The Reds trail first-place St. Louis by 4 1/2 games in the NL Central and Philadelphia by six games in the wild-card race.

Cincinnati is 9-18 since Aug. 25 and is averaging only 3.11 runs during that span.

The Cubs (63-93) have dropped 13 of their last 16 road games and will finish the season with five home games after Monday’s contest.

Aramis Ramirez hit his career-high 37th homer on Sunday while Juan Pierre recorded his 56th stolen base of the season. He became the first Cubs player with more than 55 in a season since Frank Chance had 57 in 1906.

Wade Miller (0-2, 4.97) makes his fourth start for the Cubs Monday since missing most of the season while recovering from shoulder surgery. The right-hander allowed two runs—one earned—and four hits over 4 2-3 innings in a 4-1 loss to Philadelphia last Tuesday. He walked four and struck out a season-high eight.

“He threw the ball well,” Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. “It was a very encouraging outing.”

Miller, who has yet to pitch longer than five innings this season, is 7-2 with a 4.05 ERA in 14 career starts versus the Reds.

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Starting Pitchers

W. Miller Tor vs. B. Arroyo LAD
0-2 Record 14-11
4.57 ERA 3.29
20 K 184
18 BB 64
1.71 WHIP 1.19


Monday, Sep 25