The Cole Train allowed four runs (three earned) in six innings in his last outing against the Cubbies and Travis Wood, winning a 10-4 decision on Sunday at Wrigley Field while also hitting his first career home run. He struck out eight, but used up 106 pitched in the process. He's still looking for the right blend of stuff; the fast-ball heavy approach wears thin as the innings go along.
Gerrit also beat the Cubs early in the year with the same MO - six innings, four runs (three earned) and 10 K after 100 pitches.
Last time out, the Bucs were doing a pretty good job of whacking the 33 year old rookie around, scoring three times. He left the game with an out in the fourth due to a leg cramp in a game the Bucs took 5-3 over the course of two days and 11 innings.
The Lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Jordy Mercer SS, Cutch CF, Neil Walker 2B, Jose Tabata RF, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Travis Snider LF, Chris Stewart C and Cole P. The lineup was late as the team tried to determine if Starling Marte could go; he couldn't. Russ gets a blow today, too.
The game will start at 7:05 and be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
- On A Roll: Pittsburgh has won five straight games, seven of their last eight, and 12 of the 16 meetings against the Cubs this season. The Cubs have lost six in a row. Jorge Soler will miss this weekend’s series for the birth of his child, Starling Castro is out for the season and the odds are that Anthony Rizzo will at least miss the series.
- Lotta Long Ballin': Seven different Pirates have hit at least 10 home runs for the team this year, which has now been done twice in the last three years, with Russ Martin and Ike Davis sitting at nine home runs now. The 2007 Pirates were the last team to have eight different players hit at least 10 homers.
- Lefty Dominance: Per Elias Sports Bureau, the only Pirate pitcher in the modern era to pitch eight-or-more shutout innings and strike out at least a dozen batters in a start on the road beside Francisco Liriano last night was another lefty, Bob Veale, who did it four times (once each season from 1964 to 1967).
- Knock On Wood: It may not seem so to us, but the Bucs have been, relatively speaking, injury free this year. The Pirate health issue is examined by Ben Lindbergh of Grantland. And speaking of that generally, Charlie Morton threw again today and was reportedly on the same comfort level as before, which is to say not physically ready to rejoin the staff.