Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Liriano v Harang, Lineup (Back to Normal), Cutch & Jordy Back, Martinez Down, Starling, Rox for Rent

Francisco Liriano (3-9, 3.78) and Aaron Harang (9-7, 3.51) tangle tonight.

Frankie lost a tough one to Max Scherzer last time out despite giving up two runs and whiffing nine in six frames. He's been a new guy (or rather, last year's old guy) since coming off the DL, averaging nearly 10 K per nine. But the Bucs seem to have a pitcher every year that they just can't score for, and so far in 2014 that pitcher has been Francisco.

He's 1-0 against the Bravos, pitching a gem against them way back in 2011 while with Minnesota, and that's the only time he's gone against Atlanta.

Harang has one loss since June 18th, but hasn't won since July 11th. Atlanta has lost the last six games the veteran righty has started, but he has personally only taken one defeat in that time. The 36 year old walks three guys per game and is used to being surrounded by runners with a 1.412 WHIP. But he doesn't give up the long ball and has a 75.5% strand rate, just a couple points better than his career average of 73.2%. Let's hope that doesn't point toward another 10-runners stranded day at the office for the Bucs.

He's seen the Pirates a lot over his career and is 15-7 against them, though with a less than sparkling 4.19 ERA.

The lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Travis Snider RF, Cutch CF, Neil Walker 2B, Russ Martin C, Starling Marte LF, Ike Davis 1B, Jordy Mercer SS and Liriano P. Finally, the gang is back, Travis gets the nod over Gregory, Ike over Pedro, and for the first time in a while the lineup looks legit again.

The game starts at 7:05 and will be picked up by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

  • Michael Martinez was optioned back to Indy after Cutch was recalled.
  • Marte Mashing: In his last 14 games, Starling Marte has hit .373 with six doubles, a triple, three home runs, eight RBI and 13 runs scored. He's hit safely in five straight games (9-for-20, .400) and in 10 of his last 11 (15-for-40, .375).
  • Justin Broyles of Rant Sports thinks Colorado has a couple of guys that should be of interest to the Pirates during the waiver-trade period.
  • Ouch, that Buc bench: Michael Martinez is 0-for-17, Jayson Nix 0-for-16 and Brent Morel 0-for-5 since his recall.
  • Elias has a stat for that: Vance Worley became the first pitcher since 1900 to notch eight K's in a game in which he allowed six runs in the first inning. Of course, he may have been the only one that wasn't pulled in the first inning, too.
  • Long time Pirate and Reds scout Elmer Gray passed away at the age of 91. Gray oversaw the Pirates scouting department that built the base for Pittsburgh's NL East titles in 1990-92, drafting Barry Bonds, Orlando Merced, Jeff King, John Wehner, Stan Belinda, Randy Tomlin and Tim Wakefield. While with Cincinnati, he was part of the scouting staff that put together the Big Red Machine.
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