Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Liriano v Perez; 2014 Schedule Released, Notes & News...

Lefties on the bump: Francisco Liriano (15-7, 2.98) will face Martin Perez (9-3, 3.41) as the Bucs hope to laissez les bon temps and get after some bigger fish before the season ends. The Cisco Kid has been riding a roller coaster lately, but has been pretty good against the Rangers. He's 4-1 with one save and a 3.10 ERA in eight career games (six starts) and has won his last three starts against Texas, including a 5-1 victory last season over call-up Perez in Arlington.

Perez is 6-0 with a 2.54 ERA in his last six starts. His nine wins ties the Rangers rookie record for the most by a left-hander, and he was the August AL Rookie of the Month. His bread and butter delivery is his change, a pitch that traditionally gives the Buc batters fits.

The game begins at 8:05 and will aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

Pirate lineup: Josh Harrison 2B, Jordy Mercer SS, Andrew McCutchen CF, Marlon Byrd RF, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Russ Martin DH, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Jose Tabata LF and Tony Sanchez C (Francisco Liriano P).

Not sure about JT hitting eighth, and maybe a Sanchez-Mercer-Barmes-Harrison infield would be a little stronger, but that's the way Clint has laid out his toys tonight, and he did do a fair job of getting the southpaw challenged on the bench. And we like Tony Sanchez catching; the staff is built for D-first receivers.

Ranger lineup: Ian Kinsler 2B, Elvis Andrus SS, Alex Rios RF, Adrian Beltre 3B, A.J. Pierzynski C, Jeff Baker 1B, Joey Butler DH, Craig Gentry LF and Leonys Martin CF (Martin Perez P).

  • Last night’s 1-0 shutout was Pittsburgh staffs' 16th whitewash of the season, tied with Cleveland for the second-most in baseball behind the LA Dodgers with 19. It also marks the most shutouts by the Pirates since the 1992 squad had 20. The Bucs lead the majors with five 1-0 victories this season, their most since 1958, the same year the Pirates snapped a nine-season long losing streak.
  • Starling Marte is taking cuts in the batting cage; maybe his hand is beginning to come around.
  • Clint Hurdle has managed 11 seasons, from 2002-09 at Colorado and from 2011-13 for Pittsburgh. This is just his second winning team, so #82 was a big win for him, too.
  • Yesterday was Pittsburgh's first victory in Arlington in seven tries.
  • The Pirates are 82-61 and a game back now; last year going into 9/10 they were 72-67, 11 games out and three games into a stretch that would see the club lose 13-of-15 contests.
  • Paul Hagen of MLB.com: Past Pirates Rejoicing. Even Sid Bream is happy, says John Perrotto of the BC Times.
  • Mike Axisa of CBS Sports: Anatomy of the 2013 Pirates. Wilbur Miller at Pirates Prospects has an excellent overview of the Huntington Way.
  • Jason Stark of ESPN has two decades worth of lowlights. Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects has 100 Moments to forget, too.
  • Pitchers Jameson Taillon and Phil Irwin will pitch for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League. They'll join pitchers Zach Thornton and Tyler Waldron, along with IF Alen Hansen, OF Alex Dickerson and SS Gift Ngoepe.
  • The Pirates 2014 schedule has been released - the first month is almost entirely Central Division games, the interleague slate is against the AL East and the Tigers, and they only have nine home games, all in one homestand, in September.

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