Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cole Train v Justin Nicolino; Lineup & Notes

Today's Game - Gerrit Cole (14-7, 2.49) closes out the trip against southpaw Justin Nicolino (2-1, 3.77). The Cole Train is due. He's been up and down this month, but deserves to have a win or two, something he hasn't picked up since July 26th (and hasn't won on the road since mid-June). He's faced the Fish three times, once this year and twice last season, and is 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA in those starts. Gerrit gave up a pair of solo home runs while winning a 5-2 decision at PNC Park on May 27th. In 2014, he lost 3-2 to Jose Fernandez, along with a no-decision.

27 year old rookie Nicolino had a nice outing against the Phils last time on the hill, and has a rep as a contact pitcher, pulling a fastball, cutter and change from his toolkit. Pittsburgh has had its share of problems against change up tossers, so this could be an interesting match. The game starts at 7:10 and will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

This is like the anti-lefty lineup; Gregory, Pedro and The Kid are all in the order while JHK (who oddly enough hits righties better than lefties) is sitting. Nicolino has a normal split and is murder on lefties, with a .194 OBA, but we're sure Clint has a method behind his madness...kinda sure, anyway.
  • Cutch has hit at least 20 home runs in five consecutive seasons, becoming the first Pirate to do so since Jason Bay from 2004-08. The only other players in Pirates history to hit 20 + home runs in five consecutive seasons are Willie Stargell (13 years - 1963 to 1976), Ralph Kiner (seven years - 1946 to 1952) and Frank Thomas (six seasons - 1953 to 1958). 
  • Andrew is in one of his zones: he has multiple hits in four straight games and in five of his last six contests.
  • Joe Blanton extended his scoreless streak to 15-1/3 innings, the fourth-longest active streak in the majors behind Toronto's Brett Cecil (18-1/3 IP), pen mate Arquimedes Caminero (16 IP) and Houston's Tony Sipp (16 IP).
  • Miami trails the season series by a 1-5 tally and are just 6-17 against the Pirates since moving to Miami.
  • Anthony Castrovince put together his list of theMLB's Top Ten managers, and Clint's on it.  Of course, so are Mike Matheny and Joe Maddon, and both ahead of our skipper.

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