Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Morton v Hand, Lineup, Cutch Has Broken Rib, Marte Back, Pedro on Bereavement

Charlie Morton (5-10, 3.54) opens the home stand against lefty Brad Hand (2-3, 4.15 ) tonight.

Three of Charlie's last four starts have been clinkers, each featuring a big inning that's becoming his calling card. He's got the stuff; now for the consistency. On a bright note, he's been tough at home, where he's gone 3-3 with a 2.18 ERA in nine starts. Morton is  5-3 with a 4.41 ERA in nine career starts against the Fish, beating Randy Wolf earlier this year and taking the last three decisions against Miami.

Hand has put together a string of solid starts since jumping from the bullpen to a starter's role in early July. He's allowed three runs or less in each of his six starts with two or fewer walks. Since being inserted into the rotation, he's gone 2-2 with a 2.70 ERA Hand likes to pound the strike zone and pitch to contact; his key is whether his off speed stuff catches the strike zone. This will be the first time the southpaw has faced the Bucs.

The Pirates should be happy to return home, where they've won 14 of 17 with the starters posting a 2.51 ERA. Conversely, the Marlins have lost six straight at PNC Park while scoring 13 runs.

The lineup:Starling Marte CF, Jordy Mercer SS, Josh Harrison LF, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Neil Walker 2B, Jayson Nix 3B, Greogory Polanco RF, Chris Stewart C and Morton P.

The game starts at 7:05 and will be carried by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
  • Cutch has been diagnosed with an avulsion fracture involving the costochondral cartilage of the left 11th rib; it's basically torn cartilage damage. Neal Huntington said "We continue to evaluate Andrew’s progress and he will remain on the active roster" as he may be ready for action sooner than 15 days. We don't think it's a very bright move; it leaves Clint shorthanded on the bench and Cutch is still likely to go on the DL. We're thinking that the Bucco training staff might start taking a little more conservative approach in treating guys after Cole, Marte and now Cutch.
  • The Pirates have recalled Starling Marte from his rehab assignment and placed Pedro Alvarez on the Bereavement List. Marte played four games at Indy with no ill effects, other than going 1-for-12 with five whiffs at the dish. 
  • Bryan Morris was 4-0/3.80 in 21 games (23-2/3 IP) with the Pirates, and is 3-0/0.30 in 27 outings (30 IP) with the Marlins.
  • The two clubs last met from June 13-15 at Marlins Park, with the Fish dropping two of the three games. Last season, the Marlins posted a 2-4 record against the Bucs.
  • Hidden vigorish: Tonight will be Giancarlo Stanton’s ninth career game at PNC Park. This is the only ballyard in which he has played at least six games without hitting a home run.

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