Saturday, July 13, 2013

Burnett v Torres

AJ Burnett (4-6, 3.05) takes on Carlos Torres (0-1, 0.51) tonight. AJ is making his second start since tearing his calf muscle; he pitched five in his last outing, limited to 66 pitches. This will be the first time AJ has taken on the Mets as a Bucco, but he's seen them lots of times. In 19 career starts against the Mets, Burnett is 5-6 with a 3.40 ERA.

Torres is being pulled from the pen to replace Matt Harvey (he'll remain in the rotation after the break to replace Shaun Marcum), who was scratched. It's Torres' first start in the majors since 2010, but he was a starter in AAA and had a strong year at Las Vegas before joining the big club. Pitch count could be an issue for him. The game starts at 7:15 and will be aired on Fox Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

Pirate lineup: Starling Marte LF, Jose Tabata RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Russell Martin C, Garrett Jones 1B, Jordy Mercer 2B, Clint Barmes SS and AJ Burnett P.

If Barmes can hit the ball as well as he did in the second half of 2012, he can provide a lot of value to the club, not only from the bench but in pushing Jordy Mercer, who has yet to show any inclination to stroke balls away to the opposite field. And bet that mercer will get pounded in that location until he shows he can do more than roll over as part of his crash course in MLB 101.

Met lineup: . Eric Young LF, Daniel Murphy 2B, David Wright 3B, Ike Davis 1B, Marlon Byrd RF, Kirk Nieuwenhuis CF, John Buck C, Omar Quintanilla SS and Carlos Torres P.

Ya might want to keep an eye on Byrd. His name has popped up in a couple of places as someone the Pirates may be interested in if JT eventually lands with a thud (or gets hurt) in RF.

  • Yesterday's game-winning knock was Jordy Mercer's first MLB walk-off hit.
  • The Met pen is short this series, with reliever Torres replacing Harvey today and LaTroy Hawkins nursing a sore shoulder. 
  • The Bucs are 55-36 now. Pittsburgh had a 51-40 record after 91 games last season and were 48-43 at this point in 2011.
  • The Pirates enter tonight’s action with the best ERA (3.07) in MLB. The starters rank second among all teams with a 3.25 ERA, trailing only St. Louis (3.23). The relief corp also ranks second with a 2.79 ERA, trailing only Atlanta (2.57).
  • Brandon Cumpton goes for Indy tonight and Jameson Taillon for the Curve.
  • Nathaniel Stoltz of Fangraphs posted "Five Prospects To Avoid" and RHP Luis Heredia is on the list, cited for lack of upside (he's as big as he's gonna get) and mechanical problems. 
  • Plum High and Oregon pitcher Scott McGough, a 2008 draft pick out of HS for the Pirates (he didn't sign) was promoted to AAA by Tampa Bay after being a AA All-Star reliever..

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