Volquez hasn't fared well against NY; he's 1-5 with a 7.11 ERA in seven career starts against the Mets. On the plus side, he broke out of his May funk last outing, getting a 3-1 win against Washington in a strong performance. Niese has got a 2-1/4.70 slash and has averaged fewer than six innings per start in four outings vs. Pittsburgh, although that's inflated by an eight-run outing in the mix. And Niese did send Zack Greinke to defeat in his last appearance.
The venue may be the difference. Volquez is 0-2 with a 5.89 ERA in three road starts, and at Citi Field has lost his last three starts with a 6.32 ERA. Niese, has put together a string of 14 straight home games where he's allowed three runs or fewer and has a 2.87 ERA at Citi Field this year.
The lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Jose Tabata RF, Cutch CF, Gaby 1B, Russ Martin C, Starling Marte LF, Neil Walker 2B, Clint Barmes SS and Volquez P. Boy, have these guys been waiting for a lefty!
The games starts at 7:10 and will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
- Gaby's big day yesterday wasn't out of the blue. In his career, his slash against the Mets is .324/.391/.580 with 9 HR and 34 RBI in 55 games and 203 PA.
- Pittsburgh pinch hitters are batting .264 with three homers, 17 RBIs and a .356 on-base percentage in 101 plate appearances. Last year, Pirate pinch hitters batted .206 with seven homers, 36 RBIs and a .288 OBP in 253 PA.
- In case you were wondering, Ike got a fairly warm reception in NY.
- Yesterday's win, btw, was only the second time that the Pirates have been behind after seven innings and come back to win in 23 tries.
- Stolmy Pimentel was sent to extended spring training to rehab his shoulder inflammation that landed him on the DL on May 2nd.
- Geez, that was quick. Right after the Bucco win yesterday, the Mets released losing pitcher Jose Valverde and also fired hitting coach Dave Hudgens. Vic Black, who had been released Sunday night, is on the way back to rejoin the team - from El Paso, where he was waiting for a flight to Vegas. Lotta holiday frequent flier miles for him.
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports notes that six of the nine hardest throwers of last season have had TJ surgery. Only Gerrit Cole, Garrett Richards (Angels) and Yordano Ventura (Tigers) remain unsliced, and Ventura is getting an MRI for "elbow discomfort" he felt yesterday.
- OF Jaff Decker, who recently had a cup of coffee with the big team, threw out two runners at home last night during Indy's 6-2 loss to Buffalo.
- C Reese McGuire’s current 16-game hitting streak is the longest by a West Virginia player since Alen Hanson also hit safely in 16 straight games in April of 2012.