Overview: Robert Stephenson looks to continue his big league success, while Tyler Mahle tries to extend Pensacola’s season.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m. EST
Starting pitcher: Robert Stephenson (2-1, 3.12 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 13 K, 5 BB)
Notes: Robert Stephenson made his return to Cincinnati earlier in the week, and was solid outside of a pair of home runs allowed. In two starts with the Reds earlier this season, Robert Stephenson took the winning decision in each. Between the three, Stephenson has seen more success at the big league level in 2016 than he has in the minor leagues most times. Command has been the biggest issue for Stephenson in Triple-A, and he was not immune to it in the Majors, but it was not as glaring in a small sample size. In Triple-A, Stephenson had allowed 20 walks in his last seven starts. He has also allowed 40 hits over that span. In his three big league starts, Stephenson has allowed just five walks and 15 hits in 17.1 innings.
Pensacola at Mississippi, 7:00 p.m. EST
Starting pitcher: Tyler Mahle (6-3, 4.92 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 65 K, 20 BB)
Notes: Tyler Mahle will make his 28th start between two levels on Thursday night for Pensacola in a must-win game four of the playoff series. Mahle has really struggled of late after an extremely strong start. Coming into his last outing, in five August starts, Mahle posted a 6.17 ERA with 23 hits and 16 runs in 23.1 innings. However, he has struck out 24 hitters in those contests. After a bounce back start, with 6.1 quality innings, where he allowed two hits and two runs, Mahle regressed back in his last start. In that outing, he allowed 10 hits and six earned runs in just 3.2 innings. In June and July, he posted a 2.70 and 3.67 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 44.1 innings.
Great Falls at Billings, 8:05 p.m. EST
Starting pitcher: Wennington Romero (0-0, 3.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 1 K, 1 BB)
Notes: Wennington Romero will make his second Billings start in the second playoff game on Saturday night. In his first start, Romero worked three innings, allowing three hits and one run. In 10 appearances and seven starts in the Arizona League, Romero posted just a 1.93 ERA in 46.2 innings of work. He struck out just about a hitter per inning, and walked just eight.