Thursday, May 23, 2013

Gomez v Jackson; Bucs Go For Sweep

Jeanmar Gomez (2-0, 2.78) takes on the Cub's Edwin Jackson (1-6, 5.76) as the Bucs look for the sweep this afternoon. Gomez is making his fifth start and while not giving the Bucs many innings - he hasn't gotten past five frames yet - he's given them good starts. He may be winding down his time in the rotation; the noise coming from the management side is that he'll be the one to go when Charlie Morton returns in early June.

Jackson has had a rough start for Chicago, but pitched decently in his last outing against the Mets. The righty has been solid versus the Pirates, with a career 4-1/3.09 line in seven starts, and has been much better on the road than at Wrigley, with a 3.22 ERA. The game begins at 12:35 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

And if you're playing hooky to take advantage of the afternoon game, bring an umbrella; there's a 60-70% of rain and maybe some boomers this afternoon.

Pirate lineup: Starling Marte LF, Travis Snider RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones 1B, Neil Walker 2B, Mike McKenry C, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Clint Barmes SS and Jeanmar Gomez P.

No surprises by Clint today.

Cub lineup: David DeJesus CF, Starlin Castro SS, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Alfonso Soriano LF, Nate Schierholtz RF, Welington Castillo C, Luis Valbuena 3B, Darwin Barney 2B and Edwin Jackson P.

DeJesus improves their lineup. And bless young Mr. Castillo; he must have cast-iron knees to catch a day game after a night contest.

  • The Pirates haven't lost a game that Jeanmar Gomez has started; they're 4-0 in his outings.
  • Francisco Liriano's two money years (2006, 2010) are also the only two seasons he's given fewer than three walks per game. That's his key indicator, and right now he's at three walks/nine.
  • More Liriano: he's won each of his first three starts, allowing one or fewer run in each to become the first Pirate pitcher since Dave LaPoint in 1988 to open his Bucco career that well. And they're the only pair from Pittsburgh to do that in the past 95 years.
  • OK, last tidbit on the Cisco Kid: we tweaked Clint yesterday for taking Liriano out after 91 pitches; our bad. We read a couple of post game reports that said the skipper was at least considering sending him out for another frame, but Francisco told him that he was gassed.
  • Former Pirate hitting coach Gregg Ritchie, who became George Washington's skipper, was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year.

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