Thursday, June 18, 2015

Gerrit v Smarsh; Lineup & Notes

Today's Game - Gerrit Cole (10-2, 1.71) goes against Jeff Samardzija (4-4, 4.84) to close out the quickie home and home series with Chicago. Cole Train has been all that. He's won each of his last five starts while posting a 0.76 ERA, been charged with two or fewer earned runs in 11 of his first 13 starts and gone 5-1 with a 1.58 ERA in seven starts on the road this campaign. This will be his first start against the White Sox.

Gerrit Cole goes for number #11 tonight (photo: USAToday)
Samardzija went through the wringer in his first two June starts, allowing 15 runs in 12-1/3 IP. He looked a bit more like the ol' Smarsh last time on the hill, whiffing seven in seven frames, so the Bucs may be getting a guy on the rebound. He knows Pittsburgh pretty well, and in nine starts & 20 appearances over the years (he didn't start until 2012) has a 4-4/2.22 slash v the Pirates. The game starts at 8:10 and be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

Lefties are finally back in vogue, and Cole's caddy Stew is behind the dish. We can't quite fanthom why Corey Hart is in the lineup; if you can, please give us a yell. Actually, he prob got the nod because The Kid has a stomach virus and is out of tonight's lineup.

  • Starling Marte "tweaked" his ankle late in yesterday's contest. He had an ice pack wrapped around it post game, but is in the lineup. 
  • Holy schmoly! Tony Watson is unavailable tonight. Clint decided to give him a night off.
  • If you're keeping count, the Pirates have won seven in a row and 20-of-25 games.
  • Elias Sports says partial innings (1/3, 2/3) don't count for streak stats, so Fran tied Ed Phelps for the longest shutout string by a catcher at 56 innings, and the Bucco count of consecutive scoreless frames ended at 35.
  • Four runs used to be the magic number for the Bucco offense, but the relentless stat hounds at Elias Sports dug up another tidbit: the Pirates have won six times in their last 10 games when scoring three runs or fewer. A Pirate team hasn't done that since 1910.
  • Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs noted what a difference the back foot made in Cutch's comeback from his early season hitting woes. 
  • Jameson Taillon threw 74 pitches in a five-inning Pirate City outing today.

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