Saturday, June 1, 2013

Liriano v Leake

Francisco Liriano (3-1, 2.35) tries to get back on the winning track against Mike Leake (4-2, 3.02) tonight. The Cisco Kid was Superman in his first three starts, but the Tigers brought him back to earth with four runs and eight hits in five innings in his last outing. In his last three starts, Leake has given up just one earned run, just what the icy Bucco bats don't need. The game is at 7:15 and will be aired by Fox Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

Pirate lineup: Alex Presley LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones 1B, Russell Martin C, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Travis Snider RF, Clint Barmes SS and Francisco Liriano P

Starling Marte has the night off, we're sure to bat-related issues. Barmes doesn't, and we're not why that is.

The Pirate attack needs to wake up; in the past dozen games, the Bucs have hit .215 and scored 34 runs with a .620 OPS. They've faced good pitching, we'll admit, but haven't been showing a very good approach. Teams are aggressively pounding the strike zone, and Pittsburgh needs to be equally aggressive in going after the ball.

Reds lineup: Shin-Soo Choo CF, Zack Cozart SS, Joey Votto 1B, Brandon Phillips 2B, Jay Bruce RF, Todd Frazier 3B, Devin Mesoraco C, Derrick Robinson LF and Mike Leake P.

Ryan Hanigan swapped out for Mesoraco; the lineup worked well enough yesterday.

  • The Pirates and Reds will pay tribute to the Negro Leagues by wearing replica uniforms of the Homestead Grays and Cincinnati Tigers during tonight’s game.  
  • Pittsburgh finished May 19-9, the franchise's best monthly record since September, 1992.
  • Johnny Cueto tossed the Reds eighth shutout at PNC Park over the last five seasons last night. That's the most road shutouts for any major-league team against another during that span, per Elias Sports.
  • Clint Barmes (.207) had a tough day yesterday. In three at-bats, he K'ed twice and hit into a DP as his plate discipline is once again fading into black. 
  • James McDonald will get his second rehab start at Altoona tonight; his first one didn't get out of the opening inning.
  • Gerrit Cole was back to his old self last night. He went seven scoreless, giving up two hits, a walk and whiffing five. Tony Sanchez and Felix Pie collected four hits while Matt Hague and Josh Harrison had three each in an 11-0 win.
  • Congrats to the girls' WPIAL softball champs: Canon-McMillan defeated North Allegheny 5-2 to repeat as AAAA champs; Greensburg-Salem topped Ambridge 8-0 in AAA; Riverside took a 5-1 decision from defending champs Deer Lakes in a battle of AA undefeateds and defending PIAA champ Neshannock whipped Carmichaels 10-4 in Class A.

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