I referenced this in the game thread, but there's quite a bit of poetry in tonight's matchup. Circumstances have deemed that the Reds and Pirates are throwing Cueto and Liriano respectively, neither of whom were assured this start even a week ago. Two great pitchers who have appeared in two postseason games apiece, minimal innings (a little more than seven for Liriano, just over five for Cueto) and not a win to their credit yet. Both from the Dominican Republic. Both wear #47. Both rebounding from serious injuries this season to earn the starting spot in the year's most important game. Both often having played quiet second fiddle to a more firey, ace-y teammate this season.
Cueto is a farm kid and Liriano was an iffy FA signing. They're not similar pitchers in style: a strikeout southpaw vs. a more crafty righthander. But I have to imagine there is a lot of mutual respect between them and I expect -- and hope for, in some ways -- a low-scoring nailbiter of a game.
Honestly? Thinking about the starting pitching makes me feel better about this game than anything else. My gut tells me that Cueto is more of a gamer than Liriano. And I suspect that deep down Cueto feels that he's due.