Frankie's trouble is the same one that's plagued him during his career - his control leaves him. Teams are making him throw strikes, and it's his job to start tossing them; can't get swings-and-misses without jumping ahead in the count. His one-hit, six-walk outing against San Diego was the perfect example. He has had success against Chicago, going 3-2 with a 2.36 ERA in seven career starts.
Wood has been hit pretty hard this season, though he's a pretty solid 4-5 with a 3.15 ERA against the Bucs in 11 career appearances (10 starts).
The lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Gregory Polanco RF, Cutch CF, Gaby 1B, Russ Martin C, Starling Marte LF, Jordy Mercer SS, Clint Barmes 2B and Liriano. Lefty on the hill, Pedro & Ike on the bench. Polanco will break from the gate in the two hole, and Barmes will man second for The Kid tonight.
The game will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan. We'd expect a big crowd in anticipation of Gregory Polanco's debut, with those that can't go glued to the TV/PC/Tablet/Radio. Hopefully, the weather becomes a fan, too - there's a 30-40% chance of t-storms tonight.
- The Cubs are 10-22 on the road this season, and 2-5 against the Bucs.
- Josh Harrison has started the last 22 games at the leadoff spot, which is the longest stretch for a player in the top spot since Starling Marte started 34 straight games there last year from 6/17 to 7/28.
- Gerrit Cole threw 25 soft-toss pitches on flat ground in the outfield before yesterday's game.
- Mark Simon of ESPN Stats and Information tweeted his "quality of contact" stats yesterday, which show who gives up soft contact and who gets rocked. Charlie Morton had the lowest Hard Hit Rate in MLB, with Francisco Liriano came in eighth. The Pirates staff had the fifth lowest overall rate, showing how so-so fielding and walks can short circuit decent pitching.
- The buzz is that RHP Neil Kozikowski will be the PTBNL in the Ike Davis deal.
- Tonight, the Bucs will have their Pirate Charities auction on TV, offering game jerseys, trips, etc.