Liriano looks like he's back to being last year's dominator after a creaky start to the year. Frankie's made five starts since returning from the DL exactly a month ago and has gone 2-2 with a 2.25 ERA in his return trip to the rotation. He lost his latest outing 2-1, emphasizing his biggest handicap so far this year, run support. The Pirates have scored over two runs while he's pitching just four times in his 20 starts.
He's seen Motown a lot as a former Twin, and not done very well in his work against them. Frankie is 5-8 with a 5.99 ERA in 24 games (17 starts). Liriano lost 6-5 to Justin Verlander last year at Comerica Park in his latest appearance against the Tigers.
Scherzer is your classic power guy, mixing a fastball (and he was throwing it at 97 in the eighth inning of his latest outing) and slider. He has 182 strikeouts in 161 IP, won the Cy Young last year and the All-Star game this year. Fair to say that he's a pretty good test for the Buccos.
He's 2-2 with a 3.78 ERA against the Bucs in six games (five starts) with 44 K in 33-1/3 IP. Scherzer last faced the Pirates in 2012, splitting two games with a 4-3 win and 4-1 loss.
The lineup: Gregory Polanco RF, Travis Snider LF, Josh Harrison 3B, Ike Davis 1B, Starling Marte CF, Pedro DH, Jordy Mercer SS, Chris Stewart C and Michael Martinez 2B (Liriano P)
The game begins at 1:08 and will be broadcast by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
- Corey Giger of the Altoona Mirror reported Clint Barmes rehab timetable: Barmes will play five innings tonight, work out with the team Friday in Erie but not play, play five more innings Saturday, then go to Indy. As for Gerrit Cole, he takes the hill at Indy again on Sunday, and he gets near 90 piches could return to Pittsburgh and start anytime from the 21st onward.
- Bucco prospect Austin Meadows is put under the magnifying glass by Baseball Prospectus, who see a solid everyday MLB starter rather than an All-Star in the making.