Wednesday, July 1, 2015

AJ v Alfredo Simon, Lineup & Notes

Today's Game - AJ Burnett (6-3, 2.01) toes the rubber opposite Alfredo Simon (7-4, 3.57) in the middle game. AJ has been having himself one fine farewell tour, but the Tigers will be a bit of a chore. He's 6-3 against them, but with a 4.81 ERA in 12 career starts. AJ has won five of his last seven regular season decisions against Motown although his last outing was a 2-0 loss to Shane Green at PNC Park in April.

Alfredo is working with an extra day's rest thanks to Justin Verlander's return to the rotation. He could use the blow; the 34 year old Dominican has allowed 12 earned runs over his past two starts after being a pretty dependable arm for the first 10 weeks of the season. Then again, he already owns an April 1-0 win over the Bucs, firing a two-hitter over eight frames. Simon has seen the Bucs plenty of times, and is 4-4/2.98 in 19 career appearances (five starts) v the Pirates. The game starts at 7:08 and will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

Josh is back after scheduled back-to-back days off as JHK takes a sit. Pedro joins Corey Hart, Cutch and Fran as a DH, and El Coffee frops down in the order again..

  • Cutch has a seven game hitting streak while Starling and Jordy are working on six gamers.
  • It will be interesting to see if last night's mini-beanball battle carries over. The two teams look at HBP from entirely different POVs. The Bucs are the most hit team in baseball (the Cubs are fourth & the Cards 10th, so maybe it's a NL Central thing), being plunked 44 times, with Cutch often the target, while the Tigers, for all their offensive prowess, are 28th in the majors with just 16 bruised batters.
  • The Pirates are 4-1 in their past five extra-inning games; they had lost the first six they played.
  • Big John Holdzkom is back on the Indy DL as of 6/29. Not sure of the reason; he was only back on the roster for three weeks after a stint away for dead arm. JT is back in Indy, btw, and Alen Hanson is back on the active roster after spending some time off with a finger injury..
  • Altoona's 1B Josh Bell,, RHP Jason Creasy, UT Adam Frazier, IF Dan Gamache and IF Max Moroff will represent the Curve at the 2015 Eastern League All-Star Classic.
  • LHP Daniel Zamora, the Bucs' 40th-round pick, signed a contract and was assigned to the Morgantown Black Bears. He went 7-3 with a 3.00 ERA in 15 appearances (13 starts) with SUNY Stony Brook.

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