Saturday, September 19, 2015

Frankie v Clayton; Lineup & Notes

Today's Game - A lefty's delight tonight, with Francisco Liriano (10-7, 3.45) taking the hill against Clayton Kershaw (14-6, 2.12). Frankie's been struggling, allowing at least three runs in six of his last eight starts with a 5.09 ERA during that span. He is 3-0 with a 2.78 ERA (22.2ip/7er) in four career starts against the Blue. He had a no-decision and hit a three-run homer off Mat Latos in his one start this season; a 6-5 win at PNC Park last month, tho he lasted just three innings. Frankie won each of his two starts in 2014 in impressive fashion, so hopefully he'll tap into that mojo.

Kershaw has won nine straight decisions and owns a minuscule 0.96 ERA over his last 12 outings. On the plus side, the big guy allowed four runs in six innings in a no-decision at PNC Park on August 7th, the only one of Kershaw's last 14 starts that saw him allow more than one earned run. The game starts at 9:10 and will be on Root Sports and KDKA- AM 1020.

Clint playing the matchups - Josh for The Kid, who had two hits last night, and Michael Morse for Pedro, who didn't. Gregory is the lone lefty; Kershaw is the league's best against them.

  • Secret weapon? In their last seven games played against the Dodgers, the Pirates have hit 11 home runs. The Bucs went deep five times in the four-game series at Dodger Stadium in 2014.
  • Since the start of the 2013 season, Clayton (.196) and Francisco (.222) rank first and second respectively in batting average against among MLB lefthanders.
  • Big game - the Cubs beat the Cards 5-4 today in a beanball battle. The Bucco wild card lead is 1/2 game now. St. Louis is the first NL team to clinch a playoff berth even with the loss, as the Giants also went down.

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