Fister tosses a four and two seamer, change and hook. He's been getting some swings and misses (7+ K per nine), and has developed into an extreme (56%) ground ball guy. Fister had a solid April but has been hit around some this month (5.20 ERA in five May starts). He's tossed one nondescript game against the Bucs last year, the only time he's faced them, losing 4-1.
The game starts at 7:05 and will aired on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
Pirate lineup: Starling Marte LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones 1B, Russell Martin C, Travis Snider RF, Brandon Inge 3B, Jordy Mercer SS and Jeff Locke P.
We swear that every time Pedro gets a big hit that Clint Hurdle sits him the next game. (Our bad; Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune Review reports that "Alvarez had two wisdom teeth extracted today, which is why he's not in lineup." Sorry, Clint.)
Tiger lineup: Omar Infante 2B, Andy Dirks RF, Miguel Cabrera 3B, Prince Fielder 1B, Jhonny Peralta SS,
Matt Tuiasosopo LF, Brayan Pena C, Avisail Garcia CF and Doug Fister P.
The Motown outfield is a little jumbled with Torii Hunter out with a bruised elbow.
- Neil Walker is batting .440 with three homers and five RBIs in his last six games.
- Jason Grilli (22-of-22) is one of two pitchers without a blown save (min. 15 opportunities); the other is the Cards' Edward Mujica with 17.
- Torii Hunter is day-to-day for Detroit after catching a Byran Morris fastball on the elbow last night
- The Buc victory last night was Pittsburgh's eighth of the year when it trailed after six innings and the team's 15th come from behind win. Pittsburgh is also 24-1 when leading after seven innings. So far, the last three innings have been berry, berry good to the Pirates.
- Dave Cameron of Fangraphs writes "we can regress the Pirates early season performance heavily, note that they’re playing well over their heads, and that their pitching can’t keep up their current levels while still also acknowledging that they’ve put themselves in pretty good playoff position" in his "It's Time To Take the Pirates Seriously" post.
- Grant Brisbee of the McCovey Chronicles posts about "The Pirates, Mark Appel, Scott Boras and the Obvious" for Sports Nation. He speculates what one more MLB-ready arm could have meant to the team, especially this season...
- Marc Hulet for MLB Trade Rumors has a post on pitchers becoming hitters and hitters converting to pitcher. Stetson Allie leads the list of makeovers-in-progress.
- Congrats to the WPIAL Baseball Champions: NA beat two-time defending champ Seneca Valley 4-2 in AAAA; South Park capped an undefeated year with a 4-3, extra inning win over Hopewell in AAA; Beaver handed Quaker Valley its first loss 7-1 in AA; and Western Beaver nosed Our Lady of the Sacred Heart 3-2 in A.