Sunday, June 14, 2015

AJ v Cole Hamels; Lineup & Notes

Today's Game - There are a couple of master craftsmen at work this afternoon as AJ Burnett (6-2, 2.11) and Cole Hamels (5-5, 3.19) mix it up. Burnett has won six of his last seven starts and has a 1.60 ERA in four home starts, but has problems with his old mates. His lifetime slash against the Phils is 7-9 /4.78 ERA in 21 career appearances. But he's been solid recently. He has a win under his belt this year, and has gone 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA in three starts as a Pirate against the Phils, with all the outings coming in Philadelphia. Hamels, this year's Mr. Deadline, is 3-2/2.73 v the Bucs, with a 3-2 win over Frankie earlier in the season. The game starts at 1:35 and will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan, weather permitting.

Today's Lineup - Josh Harrison 2B, Starling Marte LF, Cutch CF, Jung-Ho Kang 3B, Sean Rodriguez RF, Fran Cervelli C, Jordy Mercer SS, AJ, P.

Corey Hart - off the milk carton and on the lineup card (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Lefties? We don't need no stinkin' lefties, sez Clint as Gregory, Pedro and The Kid take a seat. JHK has hit fifth quite a bit as a Bucco, but this will be his first shot at cleanup. And it's not often you see an entire infield rearranged from game-to-game, but Hurdle is letting his RH batters off the porch this afternoon. 

  • AJ had a string of six straight victories snapped last time out, losing 2-0 to the Brewers.
  • Cutch has passed the career 500 RBI mark after driving in a pair yesterday. His 501 ribbies places him 8th in the NL since 2009.
  • The Pirates are 8-0 in PNC afternoon games this year.
  • Elias has dug up some more 10-win stuff on the Cole Train: Gerrit, who won't turn 25 years old until September, is the youngest player to be the first to 10 wins since Dontrelle Willis (23) in 2005. Cole has 10 wins in his last 12 games, something that only one other Pirates pitcher under 25 has done in the last 90 seasons (1926 to date), when John Candelaria won 11 of 13 starts spanning the 1977 and 1978 seasons.
  • Holy Moly! Starting today, the Pirates face four consecutive left-handed pitchers as the White Sox have three southpaws lined up to face Pittsburgh. The Pirates have seen just eight LHP's start against them so far this season.
  • Random thought: remember when everyone was bummed that the sad sack Astros left the division with one less team to beat up on? Though they've had a rough week or two, their 35 wins still lead the AL.

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