Sunday, September 6, 2015

Cole Train v John Lackey In the Rubber Match; Lineup & Notes

Today's Game - Gerrit Cole (15-8, 2.64) finishes the series against John Lackey (11-8, 2.87). Since the ASG, Gerrit is 2-5 with a 3.36 ERA, solid but not ace-like numbers. The workload doesn't seem to be affecting him; his main bug-a-boos seem to be rough opening innings (16 runs & 4.33 ERA), a slider that doesn't have quite the same bite and, as with all the Bucco hurlers lately, a leaky D. He's 1-1 against the Cardinals this year, with a pedestrian 3.65 ERA and just nine K in 12-1/3 IP.

Lackey is working his way to the first sub-3.00 ERA campaign of his 13 year career and first 200+ IP season since 2010. He's been good against the Bucs this year. The vet hasn't gotten a decision, but has given up just two runs in two starts lasting 12-2/3 frames. The game begins at 8:05 and will be on ESPN and 93.7 The Fan.

Tonight is the fourth time this season the Pirates are being featured on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Pittsburgh is 3-0 on SNB this year, beating the Giants 5-2 on August 23 at PNC Park, winning against the Dodgers 13-6 on August 9 at PNC Park, and walking off the Cardinals on July 12 after scoring three runs in the 10th inning in the final game before the All-Star break.

Pretty strong order; A-Ram leads all active players in hits (246), home runs (37) and RBI (146) against the Cardinals, so his presence isn't a surprise, although he's only 1-for-12 against Lackey.

  • Tony Watson has tossed 16 straight scoreless outings; he hasn't been scored on (though he has allowed a couple of inherited runners to tally) since July 27th.
  • Sean Rodriguez is hitting .408 (20-for-49) with five doubles, four RBI and nine runs scored in 27 games played during August & September.
  • Jaff Decker has reached base safely in eight of his 11 games with Pittsburgh.
  • St Louis added Randal Grichuk to the active roster; he was on the DL with an elbow sprain.

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