Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pre Game Lineup, Notes

Francisco Liriano (0-2, 4.00 ERA) will duel Johnny Cueto (0-2, 2.14) in the series' rubber match. Frankie was handed three of his eight 2013 losses by the Reds as he went 0-3 with a 3.70 ERA in four career against them (tho he did win the wild card game, and against Cueto). Cueto has been tough and durable, working seven frames in each of his three starts without much support. He'll have the added advantage that 40,000 people won't be yelling "Qway-toe" at him this afternoon.

The lineup: Jose Tabata LF, Travis Snider RF, Cutch CF, Pedro 3B, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Neil Walker 2B, Tony Sanchez C, Jordy Mercer SS and  Liriano P. Starling Marte got the day off to regroup; he ran up five straight winging K's before being nicked with a 0-2 pitch last night.

The Pirates are looking to get back to winning individual series (they've taken 3-of-4 so far) while Reds will be after their first series win of the season. After the game, the Bucs will come home to face the Brewers to kick off an eight game home stand.

The 12:35 PM game will be aired by Root Sports, the MLB Network and 93.7 The Fan.
  • Today's game qualifies as the back end of a triple header in a way. The Bucs and Reds are meeting for the third time in less than 24 hours (19, to be exact) as today’s tilt comes on the heels of last night’s regularly-scheduled game which followed the completion of Monday’s suspended game. The last time Pittsburgh officially played three games in one day was October 2nd, 1920 (also against Cincinnati).
  • Yesterday's batting hero, Mike Leake, leads all pitchers in hits (59) since his 2010 debut.
  • Looks like another year of grinder games. 11 of Pittsburgh’s first 14 games have been decided by two runs or less.
  • Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors lists 25 players who could have an impact on the 2015 FA market, including Francisco Liriano and Russ Martin.
  • Guess what team is tied for third in the MLB home run race? The Buccos have 19 long balls, behind just the LA Angels and Atlanta while tied with the Chi White Sox.  Their BABIP is among the league's lowest at .268, so there's room for the offense to get better.
  • Theo Epstein of the Cubs sounds like a NH clone: "Every trade we make, we try to get an arm. Every time we have a draft pick, we look closely at the best available arm who we can add to the organization" he told Gordon Wittenmyer of Baseball America (subscribers only).
  • Ex-Bucs: Robbie Grossman was sent down by the Astros, who are expected to call up uber-prospect OF George Springer. The Nats picked up former Pirate minor league OF Quincy Latimore and assigned him to the AA Harrisburg Senators.

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