Friday, June 15, 2012

Pirate-Tribe Lineup, Notes

The Bucs will try to wash away the bad taste of the Baltimore series tonight at Cleveland. RHP James McDonald (5-2, 2.39 ERA) will look to right the ship against the Indians RHP Justin Masterson (2-6, 4.76). J-Mick lasted just four frames last outing, but has yet to yield more than three runs in any game. Masterson is a sinker/fastball/slider guy who whips the ball nearly sidearm.

The game is at Progressive Field and will be shown on Root Sports. Rob King will fill in for Tim Neverett tonight as Tim is off to attend a family affair. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.

The Indians, after winning 4-of-6, were swept at Cincy. The good news is their long pen was stretched to the limit. The bad news is set-up man Vinnie Pestano and closer Chris Perez didn't have to work against the Reds, so they're fresh for the Buccos. Of course, the same can be said for Jason Grilli and Hanny of the Bucs, who got yesterday off. Whoever gets into the other's pen first should have the advantage.

The Lineup: Alex Presley LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones DH, Casey McGehee 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Jose Tabata RF, Rod Barajas C, Josh Harrison SS.

Same ol', except that Clint Barmes gets a seat. He's hitting .190; Josh Harrison, his replacement, is stroking at .218. Free Jordy Mercer!

  • Tyler Kepner of The New York Times adds another log to the rep of AJ Burnett as the Pirates Yoda.
  • Daniel McCutchen started his rehab at Bradenton last night. He went two scoreless innings, giving up a hit with a K.
  • Jeff Karstens is going to pick up his rehab again on Tuesday at Altoona. He's looking at making at least two starts before rejoining the big team.
  • David Manal of Bucs Dugout took a look at how the Pirate bats will regress (ie, head toward the norm), and found at that for the next 3-1/2 months, they should hit just like the *drum roll* 2010 Pirates.
  • RHP Gerrit Cole (5-1/2.55, 69 K in 67 IP) finally got kicked upstairs; he's going to Altoona, and will make his first AA start on Wednesday. Bradenton RH starter Hunter Strickland (2-2, 2.98) is also headed to Altoona; Altoona's LH reliever Jhonathan Ramos (2-1, 2.75) is swapping places with him.
  • David Schoenfield of The Sweet Spot makes his picks for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, with Cutch and Hanny on his club.
  • Congratulations to Riverside HS, which won its second straight PIAA Class AA baseball title today by defeating Pine Grove 5-4. The Panthers from Beaver County also won titles in 2005 & 2006.

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