Monday, May 13, 2013

AJ v Marcos Estrada As Brew Crew Visits

AJ Burnett (3-3, 2.57) faces Marco Estrada (2-2, 6.05) as the Bucs return to PNC Park. In his two outings this month, AJ has gone 14 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and striking out 18. He's been pretty good.

Estrada has allowed 13 earned runs and four home runs (he's given up 11 in 38-2/3 IP) over his past two appearances, and this start was pushed back a couple of days to give him some extra time to work on his game. But he's Jekyll and Hyde home and away. The righty has a 9.31 ERA with eight HRs surrendered at his local launch pad Miller Field, but a much better 2.79 with three long balls on the road. Let's hope those numbers begin to regress tonight.

The game begins at 7:05 and will be aired by Root Sports and The Fan 93.7.

Pirate lineup: Starling Marte LF, Travis Snider RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Neil Walker 2B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Mike McKenry C, Clint Barmes SS and AJ Burnett P.

Walker's back, Russell Martin isn't. He's caught once since May 5th. Jones has the night off.. Estrada is one of those guys with a reverse split, and a pretty severe one at that (.269 v R; .239 v L) with an OPS that's about even, so he's a good guy to let Gaby swing against.

Brewer lineup: Norichika Aoki RF, Jean Segura SS, Carlos Gomez CF, Aramis Ramirez 3B, Yuniesky Betancourt 2B, Jonathan Lucroy C, Blake Lalli 1B, Logan Schafer LF and Marco Estrada P.

A-Ram is back from the DL since the last time the Bucs visited Miller Field.

The Brewers come to town wearing fourth straight losses, eighth straight defeats at the hands of NL Central rivals and nine losses in 10 games. Let's hope their bad vibes continue over the weekend. In fact, the ten game home stand is a great opportunity for Pittsburgh to pile up some wins with Milwaukee, Houston and Chicago on tap.

  • Jason Grilli left the clubhouse in street clothes about 3:30; no word why but we'd assume that he's unavailable for tonight.
  • The Pirates, as expected, have optioned infielder Jordy Mercer back to Indy and activated Neil Walker from the DL.
  • Pedro Alvarez was 6-for-11 against the Mets to raise his average to .203, hitting above .200 for the first time since April 3rd. Clint Barmes (.219) went over the .200 mark on Saturday for the first time since April 5th. He's gone 11-of-34 since April 27th and 5-of-12 against NY.
  • Indy LHP Andy Oliver was named the International League Pitcher of the Week. He went 2-0/0.82 allowing just one run while striking out 11.
  • Altoona won 2-1 yesterday as Jameson Taillon went six shutout innings, giving up two hits, three walks and punching out eight. Neil Walker had two hits, a walk and RBI in his last rehab outing. 
  • Rising with a bullet is West Virginia's RHP Tyler Glasnow (3-0, 1.80). Yesterday he went five  frames, giving up a run on two hits with two walks and nine K in the Power's 6-2 win. The 6'7" 19 year old, a high school pick in the 5th round of the 2011 draft, has whiffed 42 batters in 30 IP. 
  • From blog The Roosevelts, we have Pirate scout Herb Stein's report on Ed Ott's High A, Carolina League Prince William club - from 1985. Stein likes Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla and a couple of pitchers, but gives no love to Jose Lind.

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