Cole came off the DL and was promptly pummeled by the Mets in his last outing. Hopefully, that was a case of some rust being knocked off after three weeks of down time. He could stand a little more first-strike tossing and getting his secondary stuff across the dish; that was true before he had dead arm. Some efficient innings would help his cause, as he's gotten into the seventh frame or further just three times in 13 starts this year. It's been nearly a year since he's faced the Phils, losing 6-4 last July 4th.
Hernandez has been back-end material for the Phils, and he doesn't give very many innings. He's gone six the last two starts for the first time this season, and that's about the max Philadelphia will get from the veteran righty. But he does throw a lot of change ups, and the Bucs sometimes have problems sitting on the off speed stuff, so a little discipline is called for against Hernandez. It pays off to be patient; he's given up 38 HR in 252 IP since 2012.
The lineup: Gregory Polanco RF, Starling Marte LF, Cutch CF, Neil Walker 2B, Russ Martin C, Josh Harrison 3B, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Jordy Mercer SS and Cole P. Kinda odd that Hurdle is running his LH lineup against a righty, with Pedro and Ike down. You think Pedro's power and Hernandez's penchant for giving up the long ball would be a good match-up. Oh well, above our pay grade, although Clint said it's because Hernandez has a reverse split, with RH hitting him better than LH.
The holiday game begins at 5:05 and will be broadcast be Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
- Starling Marte picked up his 20th stolen base of the season last night. He swiped 28 bases prior to the All-Star break last season and is the first Pittsburgh player since Tony Womack in 1997-1998 to steal 20 bases or more in consecutive seasons prior to the Midsummer Classic.
- The Phils broke a six game losing streak yesterday; they've lost 8-of-11, while the Bucs have won 8-of-11.
- The Pirates went 4-3 against the Phillies last season, losing two-of-three at PNC Park and winning three-of-four at Citizens Bank Park. Pittsburgh has won nine of the 13 series played at PNC Park.
- Philadelphia has been real Yankee Doodle Dandies. The Phillies have been victorious in nine of the last 10 years on the 4th of July, with their only loss coming here at PNC Park in 2010.