Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Liriano v Kennedy, Lineup, Cutch, Notes & Posts

Francisco Liriano  (1-5, 4.62) looks to broom the Padres tonight, matching pitches with Ian Kennedy (1-5, 4.62). Francisco just ended a 14-game streak without a win to his credit and is hoping to get on a roll; his off speed stuff was outstanding last outing and his command was strong. Pitching ahead in the count is his key; it turns his slider and change into swing-and-miss rather than lay-off pitches. Liriano has only faced the Padres twice but done well, with a slash of 1-0/1.93.

Kennedy has been more than solid this season, but the anemic San Diego offense has left him out in the cold, with just 2.79 runs of support per nine innings during his starts. His strikeout rate, walk rate and HR rate are all career bests so far this season, as are his FIP (2.78) and xFIP (2.92). The secret - well, swapping Arizona's shooting gallery at Chase Field for San Diego's Petco Park helped, along with an improved curve that's keeping lefties off-balance. He's been so-so against the Bucs, with a 2-2/4.15 line in six career starts.

The lineup: Josh Harrison 2b, Travis Snider RF, Cutch CF, Ike Davis 1B, Jose Tabata LF, Pedro 3B, Jordy Mercer SS, Chris Stewart C and Liriano P. 

The Kid gets his first day off of the season, and Starling is still on the pine. We're wondering if they're trying to showcase Travis Snider and he just won't cooperate? At any rate, a good time to get Neil Walker and Russ Martin a blow before the Brewer series, and it's about time that Josh moves around; we're guessing he'll be all over the field in the coming months if his bat stays in play.

The game starts at 6:40 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

  • Cutch made his big league debut at PNC Park against the New York Mets on this date, going 2-for-4 with a walk and three runs scored. Since breaking into the show in 2009, Andrew ranks first among all NL players in hits (877) and runs scored (487), second in games played (791) and walks (405) and tied for third in doubles (177)...He has been a three-time All-Star (2011-13), two-time Silver Slugger Award winner (2012-13), 2012 Gold Glove Award winner and the 2013 National League MVP. Ho hum.
  • The Pirates have won three straight, five of their last six and are 11-5 in their last 16 games.
  • Jonah Keri of Grantland wonders if "The Pirates Have Penny-Pinched Their Way Back Into Irrelevancy."
  • Mike Petriello of Fangraphs posts that "Gregory Polonco Won't Fix the Pirates Real Problem."
  • Steve Blass is profiled in The Register Citizen's Owen Canfield's article "Steve Blass A Pirate For 54 Years."

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