Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cole v Wood, Lineup, Streaking & More...

Gerrit Cole (7-4, 3.78) returns to action against southpaw Alex Wood (9-9, 3.07) tonight.

Gerrit has been on the DL since July 9th with right lat soreness. In his last rehab start Friday with Indy, he tossed seven scoreless innings. Before he went on the DL, Cole had won four of his last five decisions for Pittsburgh, and the Bucs sure could use someone to get on a hot roll for them. His seven wins, even with missing most of June, July and August, are second most among the starters, behind Eddie Volquez's 10.

The Braves are uncharted waters; Cole has never faced Atlanta before.

It took the Braves awhile to figure out that Wood belongs in the rotation, where the U of Georgia ace has shined. He uses a fastball, curve, change up combo with the change being his go-to pitch. In his last 26-1/3 IP, he's given up five earned runs on 20 hits with 26 K, so he's been tough of late.

Wood has never faced the Pirates, so neither guy has a track record. But Wood has faced Cole in college, though, and whipped him 4-1 in 2011 when the Bulldogs visited UCLA.

The Lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Jordy Mercer SS, Cutch CF, Starling Marte LF, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Travis Snider RF, Chris Stewart C, Jayson Nix 3B and Cole P. The Kid was more or less scheduled for this day off so he could double-down with tomorrow being a travel day. Gregort Polanco takes a seat too; he has worked his way into fourth OF'er status for another night.

The game will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
  • The Pirates announced that Gerrit Cole was officially recalled from his rehab and reinstated from the 15-Day DL. Brent Morel was optioned back to Indy.
  • At 64-62, the Pirates are 10 games behind last year's pace (72-54).
  • Streak Freaks: With Travis Snider extending his hitting streak to 10 games Tuesday night, the Pirates now have a MLB-leading seven players (Josh Harrison - 2, Neil Walker - 2, Andrew McCutchen, Russell Martin, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco) who all have hit streaks of 10 games or more this season.
  • Starling Marte has a six-game hitting streak.
  • The Braves have won five straight games; the Pirates have lost seven in a row.
  • Rocco DeMaro of Baseball Prospectus says that Charlie Morton has been pitching through a sports hernia.

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