Saturday, May 31, 2014

Cumpton v Ryu, Lineup, Fables, Lefties, Call-Ups

Brandon Cumpton (0-1, 3.38) goes against lefty Hyun-jin Ryu (5-2, 3.10) tonight.

Cumpton features a sinking fastball and hopes to get his secondary stuff working well enough to work a few innings deep today. He's faced the Dodgers once last season, going five solid innings before running into sixth inning trouble.

Ryu took a perfect game into the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds the day after Josh Beckett threw his no-hitter at Dodger Stadium, so he's a fitting bookend to pair with Beckett. However, prior to that game, he had his problems pitching at Chavez Ravine, so we'll see if he turned a corner or just had a hot hand last time on the hill. He features good control and a four pitch arsenal of fastball, curve, slider, and changeup.

The lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Neil Walker 2B, Cutch CF, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Starling Marte LF, Jose Tabata RF, Jordy Mercer S, Chris Stewart C and Cumpton P. Jordy gets the call against a lefty and Pedro takes a seat.

The game starts at 7:15 and will be aired by Fox Sports "Saturday Night Baseball" and 93.7 The Fan.
  • Joel Sherman of the NY Post calls slow-and-steady rebuilding programs "a fable," using the Pirates as his poster child.
  • Since start of last season, the Pirates have faced only 36 southpaw starters, the fewest in majors by a wide margin, with the Braves next at 50, per Elias Sports Bureau.
  • Brandon Cumpton took his MLB bow against the Dodgers on June 15th, 2013. He got a  no-decision in a game the Bucs eventually lost 5-3 in 11 innings. This trip to Pittsburgh is the seventh time since the start of last season he's been recalled from the minors. He's yet to remain on the big league roster for more than two consecutive starts, but for the first time is getting a chance to slide into a full-time gig as Wandy's replacement.
  • The Pirates are 7-3 in their last ten games, 8-4 in their last dozen.
  • The Cards called the hot prospect Oscar Taveras, and he homered in his second at-bat. It may not be long before Gregory Polanco punches his ticket to Pittsburgh; he's batting leadoff now for Indianapolis to groom him. The Pirates are already prepping Indy's post-Polanco roster by promoting OF Mel Rojas to the Tribe. We're thinking June 6th, when the Pirates return home from the West Coast to face the Brewers, seems like a pretty opportune time, though he may be held up, for safety's sake, for ten more days.
  • Pirates 2013 first-round draft pick Reese McGuire has a 19-game hitting streak at Single-A West Virginia, which is the second-longest in the South Atlantic League this year. McGuire’s streak is also the longest by a West Virginia player since Starling Marte hit safely in 22 straight games in 2009.

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