Monday, April 22, 2013

Bucs v Phils

The Pirates take their highly successful home show on the road for ten games, beginning tonight with Philly. AJ Burnett squares off against RHP Jonathan Pettibone, who was just called up from Lehigh Valley to make his MLB debut.

AJ has been more than solid, leading the NL in K and coming off a one-hit win against the Cards. The Phillies haven't been pushovers for him. Burnett is 6-9/5.06 versus the Brotherly Love nine, though he has had a little more success on the road than at home facing them.

Pettibone, 22, was Philadelphia's third round pick in 2008. He was off to a rough start for the IronPigs (0-1/9.64), but pitched to a 3.10 ERA between AA and AAA in 2012. The righty is a control guy, featuring a low nineties fastball and changeup. Pettibone got the call because it's his day to pitch, replacing John Lannan who was just placed on the 15-day DL with a strained knee.

We'll see how the well the Pirates play as road warriors. LA swept them, but they came back to take the series against Arizona for a 2-4 slate this year. Under Hurdle's hand, the Bucs are 72-98 (.423) away from the Allegheny. The Pirates were 4-3 against Philly last year, 2-2 at Citizens Bank Park.

The contest at Citizens Bank Park is scheduled for a 7:05 start, and will be aired by the MLB Network and The Fan 93.7.

Pirate lineup: Starling Marte LF, Travis Snider RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones 1B, Neil Walker 2B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Russell Martin C, Clint Barmes SS and AJ Burnett P.

Phillie lineup: Jimmy Rollins SS, John Mayberry RF, Chase Utley 2B, Ryan Howard 1B, Michael Young 3B, Domonic Brown LF, Ben Revere CF, Erik Kratz C and Jonathan Pettibone P.

Kratz, a one-time Bucco backstop, hit a three run homer in the eighth last night during the Phil's win. The offense has sputtered on the road, but Philadelphia is averaging 5.5 runs per game in their home yard.

  • It took awhile, but  Justin Wilson became Neal Huntington’s first draftee to get a MLB win for the Pirates when he earned the W yesterday.
  • The Buc bullpen has come up with a nickname - the "Shark Tank."
  • Pittsburgh has won nine of 12 since its 1-5 start. The club is gunning for its first four game winning streak of the season; they've won three in a row twice.Their last four-game string was in late July of last year.
  • The Bucs have to decide on Brandon Inge's future soon. His rehab is finished on Wednesday, and while he's picked it up some lately, he's still hitting just .158 with two homers for Indy. The FO hasn't given any solid indicator about which way they'll go with him. Reading between the lines, Clint Hurdle would like hm on the roster while the FO isn't sold.
  • Jameson Taillon is on the bump for Altoona tonight.

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