Friday, June 5, 2015

Charlie v Perez; Lineup & Notes

Today's Game: After an off day, Charlie Morton (2-0, 1.93) gets the Bucs back on the treadmill against Atlanta's Williams Perez (1-0, 2.66). Charlie's making his third start after hip labrum surgery, and the first two have been awfully solid performances. Ground Chuck is 0-2/2.57 in three career starts against his former team, but that has to be taken with a grain of salt as he hasn't faced the Bravos since way back in 2011. Perez was called up last month and has been darn good since getting spanked in his first outing. He's started the last three games, going 18 IP with just two earned runs on his ledger. His bread and butter is a low nineties sinker that gets beat into the dirt. The game starts at 7:35 and will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

OK - tonight is Josh's turn to get a blow. Couple changes because of that: El Coffee moves to leadoff and Starling returns to the lineup, but in the two hole. Maybe Clint thinks there's a little too much fence-swinging in his stroke now.

  • Gregory Polanco has an eight game hitting streak on the line tonight. 
  • Pittsburgh has five series sweeps this season, tied with the Mets for the most in the majors.
  • Credit the shift, credit the emphasis on grounders or credit it to the lucky stars, but the Bucs lead MLB in twin killings with 62.
  • Hand in hand: Pirate pitchers have allowed the fewest amount of home runs in MLB at 34, and the team has posted a 20-8 record when not surrendering a long ball in a game this year.
  • The Braves Achilles Heel has been their bullpen, the worst in the majors with an ERA of 4.71. Their closer is Jason Grilli, who has 15 saves even with an ungainly ERA of 4.15.
  • One thing the two teams do is produce runs at the same rate. Both Atlanta and Pittsburgh are tied at 14th in scoring, each plating 224 runs so far this season.
  • Neil Weinberg of Fangraphs thinks AJ is a perfect Pittsburgh fit thx to game calling, defense and PNC Park among other factors.
  • TSN rates Neil Huntington as MLB's #5 GM.
  • Pirate prospect Alen Hanson at Indy hasn't had a dry spell that's lasted longer than two games so far this season. He's batting .296 going into today.
  • Legendary Pictures had a hit with "42," the Jackie Robinson story, in 2013. Now, they’re developing a feature about Roberto Clemente.

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