Sunday, August 31, 2014

Liriano v Cueto, Lineup, 4-In-A-Row, Pitch To Win, On The Road...

Francisco Liriano (3-10, 3.98) takes the bump opposite Johnny Cueto (15-8, 2.26) this afternoon, weather permitting. This is the last scheduled date at PNC Park for the Reds, so while the doppler doesn't look promising, they'll try hard to get the game in today.

Frankie tossed six scoreless innings in his last start on Monday, but received a no-decision. He's the Bucs poster child for non-support, going 2-4 but with a 3.12 ERA in nine starts since returning from the disabled list. One thing to watch for is his home splits: Liriano has posted a 1-5 record and a 4.78 ERA at PNC Park this season after owning the yard in 2013 when he went 8-1 with a 1.47 ERA.

The Reds have been his Achilles' heel. Francisco has gone 0-5 with a 4.25 ERA in seven career regular season starts against them (he did have that four-hit win in the wild card), and 0-2 with a 5.00 ERA in three starts this season.

Johnny Beisbol is human; he's lost his last two decisions after reeling off seven wins in a row. So maybe he won't oust Clayton Kershaw from his Cy Young throne, but he's sure on the short list of guys talented enough to do it.

Cueto feasts on the Buccos. He's 3-0 in four starts this year against Pittsburgh, giving up 18 hits in 30 IP and just six runs (1.80 ERA), though the last couple of outings the Pirates at least nicked him some. That's even better than his 16-4, 2.16 ERA line against them in 25 career starts.

The Lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Andrew Lambo RF, Cutch CF, Neil Walker 2B, Ike Davis 1B, Starling Marte LF, Jordy Mercer SS, Chirs Stewart C and Liriano P. Hey, who said Russ was allowed to take a day off? He's been an ironman behind the dish; this is his first game off after donning the tools of ignorance for eight straight contests.

The game starts at 1:35 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
  • Going For Five: The Bucs have again tied their season-high with a four game winning streak. It's the fifth time this year they've strung that many wins together.
  • Coin of the Realm: In the last nine games, Pittsburgh starting pitchers have posted a 2.31 ERA while tossing at least six innings eight times.
  • On the Road: Starting tomorrow afternoon, the Pirates are scheduled to begin an 11-day, 10-game road trip with the first of three games in St. Louis, then three with the Cubs and four with Philadelphia.
  • Minor League Draw: With a sell-out crowd of 15,250 on hand to witness a 4-2 win at Indianapolis' Victory Field, the largest single game crowd in five years, the Tribe broke its all-time attendance record with 660,289 fans spinning the turnstiles in 2014.

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