Saturday, June 20, 2015

Frankie v Max In DC Showdown; Lineup & Notes

Today's Game - Francisco Liriano (4-5, 2.94) takes the hill opposite Max Scherzer (7-5, 1.93). This should be a fun one to watch. Smokin' hot Frankie has gone 3-1/1.29 ERA with 47 strikeouts in his last five starts and has a 1.52 ERA in six road outings. He's 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in two career starts against Washington, beating Stephen Strasburg in 2013 and losing to Doug Fister last season.

Frankie hopes to keep the good times rollin' (photo Justin Aller/getty Images)
Max had a couple of so-so starts in June, but his last performance was a beauty, a one-hit, one walk, 16 K outing against the Brewers. He's familiar enough with the Bucs, having a lifetime 3-2/3.05 line against Pittsburgh and 58 K's in just 41-1/3 IP. The game starts at 4:05 and will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

Today's Lineup - Josh Harrison 2B, Starling Marte LF, Cutch CF, Jung-Ho Kang 3B, Fran Cervelli C, Pedro 1B, Gregory Polanco RF, Jordy Mercer SS, Frankie P.

Quite the tummy ache (actually, not a bug but abdominal tightness)The Kid has; he's missing his third game. But Gregory is in the lineup, so his meeting with the fence last night didn't cost him an outing.

  • Josh brings a nine-game hitting streak into today's game. JHK is working on a five-gamer.
  • Neil Walker is suffering from tightness in the hip and abdomen, per Rob Biertempfel of the Trib. He did take BP today, so that's encouraging.
  • Well, so much for Bryce Harper's gimpy hammy. He's back in the Nat lineup today after missing a couple of games.
  • Frankie's gem last time out, when he allowed two hits, walked one and struck out 12, put him in some good Bucco company. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only one other Pittsburgh pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) has struck out a dozen batters in a game while allowing three or fewer batters to reach safely via hit, walk, or HBP, and that was Bert Blyleven in 1980. Francisco also became the third Pirate southpaw since 1969 to toss at least eight shutout innings and strike out 12+ batters in a game, joining Bob Veale (1969) and Jerry Reuss (1975), both times vs. the Friars.
  • Elias chirps in re: AJ's performance, too: over the last 61 seasons, the only other Pirates pitchers to allow 14 hits while pitching fewer than seven innings in a game are Dennis Ribant against the Mets on August 17th, 1967 (14 hits in 6-2/3 innings) and Paul Maholm against the Twins on June 16th, 2009 (14 hits in five innings).
  • Tyler Glasnow had a rough rehab start at Morgantown, giving up three runs (two earned) in 1-1/3 IP during a 15-7 loss. He attributed it to rust - he hasn't pitched in a month due to a sprained ankle - and he touched 97 during the outing. he's expected to make at least one more start for the Black Bears.

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