Saturday, July 11, 2015

AJ v John Lackey; Lineup (Starling's Back) & Notes

Today's Game - A couple of vets get it on when AJ Burnett (7-3, 1.99) and
John Lackey (7-5, 3.09) meet. AJ has won seven of his last nine decisions with a 1.66 ERA in his last six starts. He's a beast at home with a 1.27 ERA in eight starts. Overall against the Cards, he's 9-6 with a 3.67 ERA and two complete games in 19 career regular season. Burnett has six scoreless frames and a no-decision against them this year.

Today's battery (photo Gene Puskar/AP)
Lackey, 36, who came over to the Redbirds in the Joe Kelley/Allen Craig deal, adds veteran presence and a pretty solid arm to the St. Louis staff. The righty is on a roll; he's gone at least seven innings in his last five starts with a slash of 3-1/1.75. He's 1-1 with a 3.32 ERA against the Bucs in three starts (he spent 11 years in the AL), with the no-decision coming earlier in the year when he went six innings, giving up a run. The game begins at 7:05 and will be on Fox Sports (the next two games are on national TV) and 93.7 The Fan.

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

Starling's back; the Bucs rolled the dice, survived a short bench, and saved five games by carrying him instead of taking the DL route. And that makes today's line the big-boy order.

  • In the summertime, when the weather gets hot...Neil Walker is hitting .405 with three home runs and 10 RBI in his first 10 games this month.
  • When used as a clean up hitter, JHK is batting .271 with a homer, eight RBI and seven RS in 13 games.
  • Forgot to mention last night that Carlos Martinez turned his outing against the Bucs into the final All-Star berth. He took the "last man" lead Friday morning after shutting out Pittsburgh for 7-2/3 IP Thursday night.
How do the top guns celebrate a big win? Gerrit & The Kid joined with some other Buccos in hosting a Miracle Field Fantasy camp this morning (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

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