Thursday, July 23, 2015

Frankie v Doug Fister; Lineup (Fran's Back) & Notes

Today's Game - Frankie Liriano (5-6, 2.98) opens the Nat series against Doug Fister (3-5, 4.30). Liriano missed his last start with a stiff neck, but appears recovered and ready to roll again. He's 4-2 with a 2.15 ERA and 73 strikeouts in his last 10 appearances, covering 67 IP. Francisco is 1-2 with a 4.42 ERA in three career starts against Washington. This year, he dropped a 6-0 decision to Max Scherzer at Nationals Park. Of some concern is his long break; he hasn't tossed a game since July 12th.

Fister has had a rough year; this is his sixth start after coming off the DL with a forearm issue, and he's only managed to go six innings once in those last five outings. Though he hasn't faced the Bucs this year, he's been tough on them in his four lifetime starts, posting a 1-1 mark but with a 1.07 ERA. That's countered by his 2015 road record where he's gone 1-3 with a 5.13 ERA in five away games. This is a big match for the Bucs; Fister is probably the Nat's #5 guy right now and Max Scherzer is on deck tomorrow. The game starts at 7:05 and will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

Neither team is burning it up recently. The Bucs have lost five of six on the road since the AS break, stalled by a sputtering attack. But at PNC, they're a different animal, winning 8-of-9 and ranking third in the majors with a 32-16 home record. Washington has split six games since the break. They've had trouble putting up runs, too, but hold their own away from DC with a 23-23 record.. And they carry a seven game winning streak against Pittsburgh into town, having swept the last two series.

Nice to see Fran back in action after his wrist bruise kept him out for a couple of games, with Pedro penciled in at first base. Brent Morel is the only reinforcement starting; it was him or Flo.

  • Home sweet home: the Pirates have gone 15-7 against teams from the East Division this season, with an 11-1 mark at PNC Park.
  • My kingdom for four runs: The Bucs are 41-8 when scoring four or more runs, and 13-32 when they don't.
  • Help down the line? John Holdzkom, who has been DL'ed twice this year with dead arm followed by a shoulder sprain, has been rostered at Morgantown to begin his rehab assignment. 
  • Only two Bucco prospects on Baseball America's Mid-Season Top 50 List.
  • Anthony Castrovince of Sports on Earth thinks it's time for A-Ram's return to Pittsburgh as a stretch run rental.

No comments: