Thursday, September 10, 2015

AJ v Wily Peralta; Lineup (Pedro & Josh In) & Notes

Today's Game - AJ Burnett (8-5, 3.06) returns to action against Wily Peralta (5-8, 4.21) to kick off the Brewer series. We'll see what Batman has left in the tank after his elbow rehab. He's traditionally struggled in the dog days, so maybe the break - he hasn't tossed a game in anger since July 30th - came on time to allow him to sprint to his career finish line.

He lost to the Brewers and Jimmy Nelson 2-0 in June, and hasn't been real strong against them lifetime with a 2-7/4.35 ERA slash in 12 starts. But he has been tough at home (2.11 ERA in 10 starts), so we'll see if rust or adrenaline wins out tonight.

Peralta, 22, is a fastball/sinker/slider guy who can be frustrating, but has lost a mile or two of velocity and his whiff totals, never overwhelming, have fallen to 5.2/nine. Still, when he's on, his sinker generates a lot of balls banged into the ground, and that's his forte. He might still be rounding into shape. Wily missed a couple of months and returned in late July.

The Dominican hasn't faced Pittsburgh this year, and is 2-2/3.66 in five career outings against them. The game begins at 7:05 and will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan (with no rain, just clouds, in the forecast). This is the start of a pretty big homestand - four against the Brew Crew, a day off, and four against the hard-charging Cubbies. Gotta love September!

Kinda surprising The Kid is out against a RHP, tho it does allow for Starling to bat lower in the order where he probably belongs. A-Ram gets the night off as Petey gets back on the 1B sack.
  • With three strikeouts, AJ will slide past Don Drysdale to claim the #32 all-time whiffs spot.
  • Jung-Ho Kang's 11 homers since the AS break lead the Bucs over that span.
  • Neil Walker leads all NL 2B in home runs (13), extra base hits (43) and RBI (56).
  • Fran has caught 360 games in his lifetime; 110 have been this year with the Pirates. He's shattered his previous season-high of 93 games from back in 2010.
  • The Pirates are 46-21 at home this year; only the Dodgers (47-21) have a better home record this season.
  • The Pirates have Gerrit Cole in line to pitch the wild card game on October 7th if need be; the Cubs also have their top gun lined up for the same date. 
  • The Cubs today also announced the Sunday, September 27th game vs. Pirates, will be on ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball.".

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