Chase d’Arnaud (stiff neck) is being held out of the lineup today as a precautionary measure. He wrenched his neck last night with a head-first slide, but said he feels better today. “I wouldn’t say the night’s sleep helped me out,” d’Arnaud said. “It was our trainer who kind of loosened it up for me. Range motion is still just a little limited, but it’s significantly better than it was yesterday. I’m not too worried about it. It’s nothing major.”
»»» Neil Walker’s 12-game hitting streak is the fourth-longest active string in the majors. He’s one game shy of tying Buster Posey, who’s out for the rest of the season with a leg injury. The leader is Florida’s Emilio Bonifacio (17 games).
»»» The Bucs continue to get love from ESPN. This afternoon, Walker and Steve Blass appeared on “Outside the Lines” to discuss the Pirates’ turnaround season.
»»» An item listed high in the Pirates game notes today gushes that reporters from the New York Times and Sports Illustrated will be at PNC Park over the next few days. It reminds me of what Penn State coach Joe Paterno tells his players when they ask why they can’t perform end zone dances after scoring a touchdown: “Act like you’ve been there before.”
»»» Daniel McCutchen has made five straight scoreless outings (four innings pitched) and has allowed a run in just one of his past 12 games. He’s allowed three of 25 inherited runners to score, the fourth-best mark among NL relievers.
Lineups for today’s game:
Reds (47-49) – 1. Drew Stubbs cf, 2. Zack Cozart ss, 3. Joey Votto 1b, 4. Brandon Phillips 2b, 5. Miguel Cairo 3b, 6. Chris Heisey rf, 7. Fred Lewis lf, 8. Ryan Hanigan c, 9. Mike Leake rhp (8-4, 4.28)
Pirates (50-44) – 1. Alex Presley lf, 2. Josh Harrison 3b, 3. Neil Walker 2b, 4. Andrew McCutchen cf, 5. Garrett Jones rf, 6. Lyle Overbay 1b, 7. Brandon Wood ss, 8. Mike McKenry c, 9. James McDonald rhp (5-4, 4.42)