Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Gerrit Cole v Mike Leake; Lineup & Notes

Today's Game - Gerrit Cole (11-2, 1.78) toes the rubber against Mike Leake (4-4, 4.01). The Cole Train has been dominating this month, even though his command has been a little erratic lately. He's gone 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA in four starts in June and is tough at home, with a 5-1/1.88 ERA slash at PNC Park in six outings. However, Gerrit seems to draw Mike Leake a lot and hasn't bested him yet. This year he lost a 3-0 contest to him at PNC Park in May following  a no-decision against him in April at GABP, and suffered a 7-5 loss to Leake in Cincy last season. Cole is 0-2 with a 4.70 ERA in four lifetime starts against the Reds.

Leake is a solid, mid-to-back end guy who is getting grounders at a pretty decent 52% rate this season and is coming off a two-hit, seven K whitewashing of the Marlins. He's provided more than solid pitching against Pittsburgh with a slash of 7-3/3.10, and hasn't lost to Pittsburgh since 2012 with five wins in that span.  He's a free agent at the end of the year and another Red who may be on the move as the trade deadline nears. The game starts at 7:05 and will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

They go together like a horse & carriage... (photo: Chris Hartline/USA Today)
Today's Lineup - Gregory Polanco RF, Starling Marte LF, Cutch CF, Neil Walker 2B, Josh Harrison 3B, Pedro 1B, Jordy Mercer SS, Chris Stewart C, Cole P.

Pretty much the regular grouping, with Stew behind the dish as usual for Gerrit. The most worrisome trend tonight is that Gerrit hasn't been very good against the Reds, and Leake has been tough on the Bucs.

  • With a victory tonight, Gerrit Cole would become the fifth Pirate pitcher to win 12 games prior to the All-Star break and the first since Ken Brett in 1974 (12-6). Others to accomplish the feat were Dock Ellis (14-3 in 1971), ElRoy Face (12-0 in 1959) and Rip Sewell (12-2 in 1943). 
  • Not only is Mark Melancon's velocity back to normal (his cutter has been 91-92 recently) but he's recovered his K touch, whiffing six in his last three innings.
  • Fifth round draft pick Brandon Waddell of Virginia gets the start against Vandy tonight in the deciding game of the CWS, going on three days rest. The game will be on ESPN at 8PM.
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