Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Cole Train v Jimmy Nelson; Lineup & Notes

Today's Game - Gerrit Cole (15-7, 2.44) vs. Jimmy Nelson (10-10, 3.81). Glad to report that Gerrit has been back on top of his game the last two starts. He's also been a hardy road warrior, with a 7-4/2.13 slash on the road this campaign. He won his only start against the Brew Crew this year and is 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA in six career starts against Milwaukee. Gerrit, btw, is working today instead of tomorrow because the travel day gave Clint a chance to line up the rotation so the Cole Train can go against St. Louis on Sunday.

Nelson has a 3-1/1.85 mark in four starts v Pirates this year with 27 K in 24-1/3 IP. The good news is that his four game winning streak ended last outing when the Indians slapped him around. Still, the 26 year old is on his way to becoming Milwaukee's workhorse, though he is a work in progress. The game starts at 8:10 and be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

The Brewers will, one way or another, have a big part to play in deciding the NL Central title. They play 20 September games vs. St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Chicago and would love to spoil somebody's party. The Pirates certainly haven't pushed the Brewers around; they're just 6-6 on the season and 2-4 at Miller Park, where the Bucs were swept in July. This would be a good time to shake off the ol' Milwaukee jinx.

Makes sense that Clint would break out the all-sticks lineup behind Gerrit; the Pirates have had trouble generating much of an attack against Nelson.
  • The Pirates called up Jaff Decker, Radhames Liz, Travis Snider, Bobby LaFromboise and Elias Diaz, while Rob Scahill was reinstated from the DL.
  • The Pirates have committed multiple errors in a game 30 times this season.
  • It's all happening at the zoo: 26 of Pittsburgh's final 33 games are against NL Central foes (7 games - Chicago, Milwaukee; 6 games - St. Louis, Cincinnati; plus a 7-game West Coast trip to LA & Colorado).
  • The NL Central is about as clear cut as its been lately - the Cards are five games ahead of Pittsburgh and the Cubs 5-1/2 games behind us, both in division & wildcard. The Giants are 5-1/2 games away from the Cubs for the final WC and 11 behind the Pirates.
  • The Bucs are sending the following guys to Glendale for some Arizona Fall League action: SS Adam Frazier and LHP Steven Brault of AA Altoona, along with C Reese McGuire, CF Austin Meadows, LHP Cody Dickson, RHP Tyler Eppler and RHP Brett McKinney of High A Bradenton. Curve pitching coach Justin Meccage will coach Glendale in AFL.

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