Sunday, August 2, 2015

Charlie v Keyvius Sampson; Lineup (Shuffled) & Notes

Today's Game - Charlie Morton (6-4, 4.61) tackles rookie call-up Keyvius Sampson. Streaky Charlie has been scuffling of late; his return to form would be a huge dog-days boost. He hasn't faced the Reds yet this year (he was on the DL early in the season) and is just so-so against Cincy lifetime, with a 5-7 record and 4.34 ERA compiled in 16 starts. But his woes have been at home. In his last five starts at Great American Ball Park, Charlie Morton has gone 3-0 with a 2.41 ERA and the Pirates have won all five games

Today will be Sampson's first career start and second MLB appearance. That outing was against the Pirates on Thursday, and he pitched a clean frame with two whiffs. He features a 94 MPH heater, and his biggest issue, as with many young guys, is control. He was a fourth round draft pick of the Padres in 2009, and Cincy got him off waivers from SD in January. The game starts at 1:10 and will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

JHK back to cleanup (photo: Tommy Gilligan/USA Today)
Today's Lineup - Gregory Polanco RF, Starling Marte LF, Cutch CF, Jung-Ho Kang SS, Neil Walker 2B, Fran Cervelli C, Pedro 1B, Sean Rodriguez 3B, Morton P.

Bit of a shake up today, and not because it's a day game. A-Ram sits his first game since returning to Pittsburgh; S-Rod is a better gloveman behind Charlie, and Ramirez's 4-for-30 start (at cleanup, yet) hasn't done much for his Pirate cred. Also, the order is shifted a bit to get better average guys lined up, maybe conceding one inning in the hopes of stringing together one crooked number frame. 

  • Power surge: The Pirates have homered in six straight games and 13 times in the last nine games after hitting a total of six long balls in their previous 13 games.
  • John Sickel rates all the MLB deadline trades; he gives the Bucs good grades for the A-Ram, Joakim Soria and even JA Happ deals (Morse & Blanton were unrated).
  • Tyler Glasnow went 5-2/3 IP for Indy with mixed results. He fanned seven but gave up four runs (one earned) and nine hits. Josh Bell went 1-for-6 in his AAA debut with a walk and the walk-off winner in the 13th inning as Indy won 6-5.
  • Greenfield guy Larry Lucchino is stepping down as Bosox CEO at the end of the season. No bad blood; he'll remain part owner and a member of the exec team, but at age 70 is looking for some lower leverage appearances out of Boston's FO bullpen.

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