Monday, April 13, 2015

PNC Opener: Lineup, Notes

The Buc bats woke up yesterday, the weather is prime time and it's Opening Day in Pittsburgh. About time! Detroit is a pretty formidable opponent; they're 6-0 so far and have been beating the stuffing out of the baseball. Motown's .355 BA and 47 runs scored lead MLB. Miguel Cabrera (.520/2/8) has been a beast, but at least the Pirates don't have to face their DL as Victor Martinez will be used as a pinch hitter only at PNC Park.

Today's Game: Gerrit Cole is tasked with slowing down the Tiger attack as he takes on Anibal Sanchez at 1:35. Cole's home & away splits are fairly even, and the big righty is 11-6/3.57 at PNC Park. The game will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

Today's Lineup:Josh Harrison 3B, Gregory Polanco RF, Cutch CF, Neil Walker 2B, Starling Marte LF, Pedro 1B, Fran Cervelli C, Jordy Mercer SS, Cole P.

After a little mix-and-match at Milwaukee, Clint has the A-Team penciled in today. Things to watch for after the first week: Cutch's knee, Marte's plate discipline, and Polanco's ability to hit a heater.

Gerrit Cole 2014 Topps Opening Day series
  • The last time a Pittsburgh team (the Alleghenys) opened at home against a Motown club was versus the Detroit Wolverines on April 20th, 1888 at Recreation Park. It was their second season in the NL (and the Wolverine's last, though they were the defending champions). Pittsburgh prevailed 5-2 in 12 innings, with Ed Morris the winning pitcher.
  • The Pirates are 75-58 in home openers. Here's the breakdown from Baseball Almanac.
  • Pre-game hoopla: Cutch and Neil Walker will receive their 2014 Louisville Silver Slugger Awards, with team intros and presentation of the colors next. Then, God Bless America will be performed by Airwoman Vanessa Bartone, followed by the National Anthem, sung by Pittsburgh native and "The Voice" finalist Chris Jamison. Finally, the first pitch will be thrown by David Holmberg, President and CEO of Highmark, who will toss to Chip Ganassi. (will the health insurance one-upmanship never end?)
  • The Bucs provided a little prep list re: parking, traffic, security, etc for Opening Day.

  • Fame is indeed fleeting. The Pirates reinstated Frankie Liriano from the Paternity list and optioned Casey Sadler back to Indianapolis after his win yesterday.
  • Mike White of the Post Gazette reports that the area's primo prep pitcher, Montour soph Trent Vietmeier, has picked LSU as his college.

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