Frankie has made three starts since being returning from the DL and has gone 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA while looking pretty sharp in his last couple of outings. The Bucs generally don't score a lot for him; he's gotten more than two runs of support when he has been on the mound in just three of his first 17 starts
First the good news: Liriano has posted a 3.28 ERA with a .191 opponent BA in his seven starts on the road this season. The bad news: He's 1-1 but with a 7.20 ERA in two career starts against the G-Men, with both games last season.
Hudson has been on a roller coaster ride. He was arguably the ace of the Giant staff for April and May, leveled off in June and then went 0-4 with a 6.07 ERA in his final five starts before the All-Star break. Since the break, he's been on fire again, giving up one earned run in his two post-ASG outings.
The 16 year vet - he just turned 39 - has seen the Bucs plenty of times. He's 6-7 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.136 WHIP against Pittsburgh in 14 career starts.
It should be interesting, as both guys have been strong since the All-Star break and both are keys to their club's playoff chances.
The lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Gregory Polanco RF, Cutch CF, Neil Walker 2B, Russ Martin C, Ike Davis 1B, Travis Snider LF, Jordy mercer SS and Liriano P. No Pedro again, but the guys that are penciled in have all had hot hands recently, so...
The game begins at 10:15 and will be carried by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
- Jon Heyman of Baseball Insider claims that the Pirates are among the top contenders in the Jon Lester sweepstakes; OF Josh Bell seems to be the key Pirate prospect involved. As you can imagine, lots of chatter on the web, with the real story to be told in the next 48 hours...
- Chris Cotilla of Major League Dish writes that "Pittsburgh has been especially aggressive in the bullpen market, and is definitely a destination to watch on (Joaquin) Benoit."
- Jayson Stark of ESPN posted "Sources say talks between the Pirates and Phillies about an A.J. Burnett reunion in Pittsburgh are all but dead, largely because the Pirates have been unable to get assurances that Burnett won't pick up his player option for next season."
- Dan Zangrilli of The Fan 93.7 also reports that Tampa Bay has scouts in Altoona for a second night to look at prospects for both the Curve and Detroit's farm club, Erie. Shi Davidi of the Blue Jays adds that nine scouts are watching the Indy-Buffalo (Toronto) game. So we know that the scouts are scouting and the GM's are playing chess, and that's about all.
- Starling Marte can come off the DL tomorrow; whether he's healthy enough to isn't certain yet.
- Josh Harrison has gone 6-for-9 with a double, two home runs, three RBI, four runs scored and two stolen bases in the last two games.
- Pirate bench coach Jeff Banister, Clint Hurdle's right hand man, will manage the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League after the season.
- Ex-Bucs: 1B Travis Ishikawa was called up by the Giants.