Monday, June 8, 2015

AJ Faces Jimmy Nelson; Lineup (Cutch Out) & Notes

Today's Game - AJ Burnett (6-1, 2.20) opens the Brew Crew series v Jimmy Nelson (2-6, 4.41). AJ has won each of his last six starts, tho he has shown some regression in his last two outings after going nine straight games surrendering two or fewer earned runs. He's not been particularly good against Milwaukee, posting a 2-6/4.56 mark in 11 career starts and hasn't beaten them since 2011. Nelson is a youngster who has gone through some growing pains in his first full season as part of the rotation, but has the stuff, using a sinking heater as his bread-and-butter pitch. He shut out the Bucs back in April, tossing a two-hitter over seven frames, and is 1-1/1.50 in his two career starts, both this year, against Pittsburgh. The game starts at 7:05 and will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan. Bring an umbrella if you have tickets; rain may pop up in spots during the game.

Looks like Cutch's knee is barking for a night off, and let's hope that's all. So all three outfielders are out of place, but should be used to the drill. JHK and Josh's versatility has really come in handy this year, as well as Sean Rod's ability to step into any spikes. Clint must be in seventh heaven, knowing that he finally has a bench.

  • The Bucs return home on a scorching note, having won 13-of-16 games. They should be able to keep it rolling at PNC Park. Their eight-game homestand features visits by the Brewers, Phillies and White Sox, all in last place in their divisions. They've already claimed 5-of-6 from  Milwaukee, including an April home sweep.
  • AJ is eight K's away from passing Jamie Moyer's career strikeout total and moving into 38th all-time in punch outs.
  • When the Bucs began their road trip 11 days ago, they were in third place, 6-1/2 games behind the Cards. After going 7-3, they are now in second place, but still 6-1/2 games behind St. Louis.
  • Little early to be thinking about it, but the Bucs are tied for 10th with the LA Angels in the odds to win the World Series at 20-1. The Cards are fourth at 15-2 and the Cubs are 12-1 per Bovada's oddsmakers.
  • The MLB draft starts at 7 tonight and the first two rounds will be shown on the MLB Network for our channel surfers. The Pirates select at numbers #19 (first round), #32 (Russ Martin comp) and #62 (second round). The Pirates cash pool is worth $7,392,200 this year.
  • Indy RHP Adrian Sampson, Pittsburgh’s fifth round selection in the 2012 Draft, has been named the International League Pitcher-of-the-Week for a second time this season after going 2-0 with a 0.66 ERA and 14 K in two starts last week.
  • Five Bradenton Marauders have been named Florida State League Mid-Season All-Stars. C Jin-De Jhang, IF JaCoby Jones, C Reese McGuire, OF Austin Meadows, and 1B/OFJose Osuna were named to the South Division squad.

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