Friday, May 8, 2015

Bucs v Cards - Frankie on the Hill, Notes & Lineup

Today's Game - Francisco Liriano (1-1, 1.95) will start against Michael Wacha (4-0, 1.93). Liriano has allowed only one run in 14 1/3 innings in his last two starts. Frankie is 4-1 with a 1.86 ERA against the Cardinals in nine career starts and held them to one run in eight innings last Saturday at St. Louis in a game the Pirates eventually lost. Wacha tossed 6- 2/3 scoreless innings in a game the Cardinals went on to win last Sunday. Wacha is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two career regular-season starts against the Pirates and beat them in the 2013 NLDS. The game starts at 7:05 and will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

The St. Louis Cardinals, owners of the best record in the major leagues at 21-7, are coming to PNC Park tonight after winning nine of their last 10 games. Pittsburgh is eight games behind them in the NL Central race. But one thing that's to the home boys advantage: Pittsburgh has won 13 of 19 at PNC Park between the teams in the past two years. At least the Busch jinx hasn't carried over to the Three Rivers.

Same lineup as last night; let's hope for the same results.

  • Pittsburgh’s defense has turned at least one double play in seven straight games and had 19 in the last nine contests. The Pirates rank second among NL teams with 33 twin-killings; the Rockies lead the league with 34.
  • Four is the magic number - the Pirates have won 12 times (12-2) when scoring fours runs or more and just once (1-13) when scoring fewer.
  • Tyler Glasnow made the cut in this week's Baseball America's Prospect Hot Sheet.
  • A universal DH would barely dent the growing gap between MLB revenues and players salaries, per Fangraphs Craig Edwards.
  • Another bullet point on MLB's discussion list: a return to the 154 game schedule. It offers scheduling advantages and drawbacks, and would also would put a dent in the baseball money machine, so we'll see how that topic advances.

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