Thursday, July 25, 2013

AJ v Gio; Break Out the Brooms?

AJ Burnett (4-7, 3.07) goes for the sweep this afternoon against Gio Gonzalez (7-3, 2.89). Burnett is still looking to regain a rhythm after missing time with a torn calf. Since his return, he's made three starts and hasn't gotten out of the sixth frame yet. Gonzalez has been sharp all year. He's allowed one run in his last two starts and hasn't lost since May 27th.  This should be another game with a lot of pitching goin' on.

The get-away day game begins at 12:35 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan. It's also the free game.

Pirate lineup: Starling Marte LF, Jordy Mercer 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Russ Martin C, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Josh Harrison RF, Clint Barmes SS and AJ Burnett P.

We assume JT's arm is why he's sitting today for Josh Harrison; he was HBP last night and was sporting quite a welt. Neil Walker is also taking a seat rather than flip to the right side (he's batting .193 v LHP), and we might see more of Barmes-Mercer against southpaws.

National lineup: Bryce Harper LF, Anthony Rendon SS, Ryan Zimmerman 3B, Adam LaRoche 1B, Jayson Werth RF, Denard Span CF, Steve Lombardozzi 2B, Kurt Suzuki C and Gio Gonzalez P.

  • Old news repeated: Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago wrote "According to scouting sources, the NL Central-contending Pittsburgh Pirates have been watching (Nate) Schierholtz for more than a month. The Pirates have had Schierholtz and Chicago White Sox right fielder Alex Rios at the top of their wish list..." We'd think there's more interest in Schierholtz than Rios.
  • The Pirates are facing a left-handed starter today for just the 20th time this season, which is the fewest among NL teams. Pittsburgh is 10-9 in games started by southpaws this season.
  • AJ is making his first start at Nationals Park today, which will be the 40th different ballyard he has played at in his big league career.
  • Pirate starters have thrown nine games this season in which they have ended their work with at least seven IP and no more than two hits allowed.
  • At 60-39, the Pirates are again back to their season-best of 21 games over .500 for the fourth time.
  • The Bucs are 4-2 and the Nationals 0-6 since the All-Star break. 
  • It's looking like the Bucs are going to save Jeanmar Gomez for the Tuesday DH against the Cards rather than give Brandon Cumpton the start. The club will be able to carry 26 players that day, so they can bring up a bullpen replacement instead.

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