Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bucs Blasted, Frankie Gets Opening Day Nod, Pump Up vid, Lineup & Notes

The Bucs were bum-rushed yesterday, falling to the Astros 13-7. Jeff Knock...oops, Locke gave up six runs, and his bullpen fireman, Deolis Guerra, came in and poured a can of gas on the flames. Big John Koldzkom was also touched up for a pair. On the plus side, The Kid had a three run homer to go with a two-bagger, Elias Diaz had a broken-bat two-run knock, Andrew Lambo doubled home a score and Gustav Nunez added the other RBI.

Today's Game: The Bucs host Detroit at McKechnie Field in Bradenton today at 6:05 with AJ doing the honors v Shane Green. The game will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

AJ Burnett photo UASToday Sports Images

The Lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Jose Tabata LF, Jung-Ho Kang SS, Neil Walker 2B, Starling Marte CF, Pedro 1B, Tony Sanchez C, Andrew Lambo RF, AJ.
The Bench: 17 deep, with Gregory Polanco, Elias Diaz & Jaff Decker being the main cogs. Brent Morel is also on the card, so he's recovered from his hammy tweak.
The Pitchers: Tony Watson, Mark Melancon, Bobby LaFromboise, Josh Wall, Casey Sadler, Antonio Bastardo, Charlie Leesman (not sure which ones Clint plans to toss after AJ gets his four innings/65 pitches worth of work)

  • Well, one not so deep mystery solved: Frankie Liriano will be the Opening Day pitcher against the Reds. He's the first guy to get the OD nod back-to-back since 2005-06 when Ollie Perez kicked off the seasons. Before that, you have to go back to 1992 when Doug Drabek got his third consecutive Opening Day start.
  • The rotation, as announced by Clint Hurdle, will be Liriano , Gerrit Cole, A.J. Burnett, Vance Worley/Jeff Locke and Charlie Morton. That leaves Cole scheduled to pitch in the home opener on April 13th v the Tigers.
  • Cutch was a scratch again, although he has taken batting practice the past two days. Chris Stewart has also missed some time with a sore hammy.
  • The Pirates black matte batting helmets were a hit at camp, so much so that they're going to wear them during the season.
Ready for some baseball? "Pump Up" by, oddly enough, Hockey Night In Pittsburgh, ought to get the juices flowing again..



WilliamJPellas said...

I am beginning to be concerned about McCutchen, though I would much rather see the Pirates be overly cautious with him so he (hopefully) doesn't end up with something chronic, than rush him back. They need him for the long haul. He is easily the team's best and most valuable player.

Re: AJ's photo. I really hate tatoos. Especially on someone who has that many. Burnett's place in Pirates lore is secure and we can tip our cap to his competitiveness, and that's all well and good. But a brain surgeon, he ain't.

Ron Ieraci said...

True, Will, that AJ didn't come up with E=mc2, but on the other hand, Einstein couldn't throw a sinker.

I think that the Cutch situation is just a case of velvet glove treatment; 10 working days before the season should be plenty to round him into shape.

WilliamJPellas said...

"Einstein couldn't throw a sinker", hahaaa!!! :-D

Ron Ieraci said...

Nice change-up, tho.