Except for a brief rough patch, Volquez has been fairly dependable for Pittsburgh. Eddie has been charged with two earned runs or fewer in eight of his first 12 starts. Volquez is 5-0 with a 3.60 ERA in nine career games, with eight starts, against the Cubs, so there's a streak we'd like to see continue.
Samardzija used his fastball as his bread and butter in the past (and he still averages 94), but in his breakout year, he's going more to movement stuff - a sinking two seamer, cutter, and even a splitter, with great success. The Shark is 4-3 with a 1.90 ERA against the Pirates in 19 games, including eight starts, but the Cubs are 0-5 in Samardzija's last 5 starts versus Pittsburgh. His only outing of the year against the Bucs was the 1-0, 10 inning Opening Day contest at PNC Park that Pittsburgh won on Neil Walker's homer.
Lineup: Gregory Polanco RF, Starling Marte LF, Cutch CF, Ike Davis 1B, Russ Martin C, Pedro 3B, Jordy Mercer SS, Clint Barmes 2B and Volquez P. New top of the order, and Josh is down again.
The game will start at 7:05 and be aired on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
- Cutch's June slash is ridiculous: .421/.500/1.079. He's has homered in three straight games and has 12 RBI in his last 10 games.
- Looks like he's back: Jason Grilli pitched a perfect ninth inning last night for his 10th save in 12 opportunities. Coincidentally, it was his 400th MLB appearance.
- Last night's pickoff off Starling Marte at third was called from the bench. With runners on the corners, Pittsburgh tried to pull off a variation of the double steal; Marte is supposed to head home as soon as the catcher makes a throw while the runner on first gets in a rundown.
- Josh turned his ankle and the injury makes his availabilty day-to-day.
- The good fan: After opposing teams have gotten a couple of ground rule doubles because of PNC railbirds interfering with live balls, one guy in left did good. We thought Cutch's last night homer was almost pulled back in by LF'er Chris Coghlan, just ticking off his mitt, but it ends up that a fan knocked it out of his glove. Coghlan told Tom Singer of MLB.com "...the fan was there. If I'm the home team, I'm doing that (interfering) every time. I'm not on the guy at all." So job well done.
- Gerrit Cole is scheduled for a bullpen session tomorrow after long-tossing this week.
- Pirate Prospects reports that RHP Nick Kingham, 22, is being promoted to Indy as the AAA staff is being used wholesale by the Bucs. He is only 1-7 for the Altoona Curve, but that's more bad luck than bad pitching. His ERA is a pretty acceptable 3.04.
- Baseball Prospectus looks at RHP Tyler Glasnow, still a work in progress at High A Bradenton.
- Jim Callis of MLB.com said that RHP Mitch Keller, the Bucs second round pick, signed for $1M with a slot allotment of $886,800. Pirate Prospects reports that RHP Trey Supak was signed. Terms of the deal aren’t known yet, with his slot value at $772K for overall pick #73 (post-second round). Callis again: fourth-round Florida C Taylor Gushue signed for $388,800 (full pick value). He's a switch-hitter with some pop and some defensive chops.