Wednesday, September 16, 2015

AJ v Jake; Lineup & Notes

Today's Game - AJ Burnett (8-5, 3.14) faces Cub ace Jake Arrieta (19-6, 1.99) tonight. AJ tossed a nice game in his return from the DL after shaking off some first inning rust. He's no stranger to Arrieta. He opposed Jake on 4/20 with a no-decision in a 5-2 Bucco loss at PNC Park and beat him at Wrigley in mid-May. Overall, Batman is 8-4 with a 2.91 ERA in 15 career starts against Chicago.

Arrieta has developed into not just an ace, but Cy Young material. In his last eight starts, he's 8-0 with a 0.46 ERA and he could become baseball’s first 20-game winner of 2015 tonight. Arrietta hasn't had much pushback from the Bucs. In three starts against the Pirates this year, Jake is 2-1 with a 0.86 ERA, with 19 whiffs against four walks in 21 IP. In two starts at PNC Park, his ERA is 0.64. It'll be a tall order for AJ & the Corsairs to burst his bubble, especially if they leak a couple of runs away as is their norm. The game starts at 7:05 and will be on ESPN, Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

We wondered if Clint was going to match up on Jake's reverse splits - RH's hit a paltry .225/.611 OPS against him, but forget about lefties: .159/.459! Looks like he's onto it; Pedro's sitting while there is no good RH sub for Gregory; he and The Kid will be the only LH hitters..
  • Cutch has reached base safely in 24 straight games, dating back to August 21st.
  • Starling Marte recorded his NL-leading 16th game-winning RBI in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader.
  • The Pirates have surrendered a run in the first inning in three straight games and in five of their last six.
  • The Pirates are 50-23 at home in 2015, the third straight season in which they've won 50+ games at PNC Park. It's the first time in franchise history that's occurred.
  • Tonight will feature a tribute to Roberto Clemente, with his family members on hand. And not just at PNC Park; it's a celebration in all the MLB stadia. But Pittsburgh is his home, and Mayor Bill Peduto declared it "Roberto Clemente Day" citywide.

Just a reminder of who the Pirates face today, Friday & Saturday (photo USA Today)

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