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Game #28: Claussen vs. Francis

If I were the Reds, and if I were designing the schedule so that my team could actually win this game, or even come close to winning this game, I probably wouldn't set it up so Brandon Claussen pitches in Coors Field. Brandon comes into tonight with some numbers that probably won't jive all that well with our ballpark.

For instance, 25.1 IP in five starts means he only averages five innings a start, we all know what happens to pitchers who can't take it deep here. Claussen's done well against left handers this year, but against right handed batters he's been hammered. Meaning Garrett Atkins and Matt Holliday should be set to tee it off tonight. If you don't believe me, let's take a stroll then through Claussen's road starts. Okay, so it's a short stroll, but it starts with this loss at Wrigley and ends at the next stop in Milwaukee, this eleven to nothing pasting, where Brandon gave up the first four (tying an MLB record) of the Brewers' five homeruns in one inning before being pulled without making an out in the fourth.

As for Jeff Francis, what can he do to have similar success pitching against the potent Reds offense behind Claussen? Well, here are a couple of clues from the winning pitchers those days:

Using an assortment of pitches and speeds, Maddux (2-0) allowed three hits and a run in six innings against a Cincinnati team that hit six homers the day before when, like Wednesday, the wind was blowing out at Wrigley Field.

and then, this from Milwaukee's David Bush:
"It was definitely one of my best," Bush said. "I mostly had good command. I was throwing strikes."

Take it to heart, Jeff, don't start walking these guys and getting yourself in trouble.

Go Rockies!