Saturday's game features two pitchers who have a lot in common, aside from the obvious fact that they've been anchoring their respective rotations this season.
Johnny Cueto and Yovani Gallardo, two of the most reliable pitchers in the National League, each have two wins. In both cases, they probably should have many more.
Gallardo (2-0) hasn't received a decision in four starts, despite pitching at least six innings in every start so far -- not allowing more than three runs in any of them. Cueto (2-2) has received little to no run support in most of his outings, which would partly explain how a pitcher doesn't have a winning record with a 1.15 ERA.
In his last three starts, Cueto recorded two complete games and pitched eight innings in a 1-0, 10-inning loss. It's no wonder why the right-hander leads the Majors with 47 innings pitched. He's also thrown more than 100 pitches in all but one start -- Opening Day.
Manager Bryan Price isn't concerned with Cueto's workload yet, but will keep an eye on it as time progresses.
"I'm not fearful," Price said. "A lot of times it's what you see with your own eyes. If you see his velocity drops, if the ball drops in the zone, that he's having a hard time controlling his stuff, that he can't leverage the breaking ball, then you realize that guys are getting a little bit more fatigued. That inevitably happens to guys at some point during the season.
"I will tell you this -- I won't throw him and leave him out there and do anything irresponsible with him because I want to win a game. I can guarantee you that. If we see signs he's fatigued or his pitch count is at a certain level, then we'll get him out of there."
Gallardo hasn't won since his second start in Boston when he threw seven shutout innings in a 4-0 Brewers win. The Brewers this year are 4-2 in games he starts.
"I'm really happy with what he's doing," manager Ron Roenicke said. "He's had games where he hasn't really had his good stuff, and he's still managing to get through that game and give up maybe two runs and get us deep in games. And then the good ones are really good.
"Two outings ago was probably his best curveball I've seen him have. There are signs that are really good from him. We know when he gets consistent, he gets on a roll and he puts off a lot of good ones in a row."
Brewers: Schafer nearing return
Outfielder Logan Schafer will most likely be activated from the disabled list on Saturday after spending two weeks on the DL with a strained right hamstring.
"That's what it's looking like," Roenicke said. "We'll need to make a [roster] move there."
The Brewers could opt to place Ryan Braun, recovering from a sore oblique, on the DL as a corresponding move. Backdated to April 26, Braun would be eligible to come off the DL on May 12, an off-day.
Reds: Catchers getting it done
No matter who the Reds have had behind the plate this season, they have produced with the bat. Cincinnati's catchers -- Devin Mesoraco, Brayan Pena and Tucker Barnhart -- lead the Majors with a combined .369 average this season (entering Friday). Mesoraco, who is currently on the DL for the second time already, is batting .468 in his 13 games.
Pena has been strong while filling in for Mesoraco, and came in batting .319 with two homers, including the game-winning two-run shot as a pinch-hitter on Thursday. Barnhart hit his first big league home run on Thursday as well.
"I couldn't have guessed that Devin would have come off the DL and hit like he did," Price said. "Big impact bat in the seven-hole. Then Brayan Pena was in large part brought here to support Devin somewhat and catch maybe once or maybe twice out of every five times through the rotation. We knew him as an offensive player, but he's been outstanding with our staff and he's been excellent at the plate as well. Then you have Tucker, who had two hits in New York and a big home run and sacrifice bunt yesterday. We're getting a lot of good things from our catchers, both offensively and defensively."
• Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton is day-to-day while recovering from two sprained knuckles on his left hand. Hamilton is available to pinch-run.
• Reds closer Aroldis Chapman will make his second rehab appearance for Class A Dayton on Saturday at Lake County.
• The Brewers have not lost a road series yet this year. They are 4-0 entering the series with the Reds and are the only team in the Majors this season without a loss when out-hitting their opponent.