Friday, April 8, 2016

Friday: Liriano v Simon at Great American, Lineup and Notes

Tonight: The game is at GABP and starts at 7:10. The game will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

Pitching: Francisco Liriano (1-0, 0.00) v Alfredo Simon (0-0, 0.00). Frankie was textbook Liriano in the opener, going six frames with 10 K, three hits, five walks and no runs. He's 1-5 lifetime against the Redlegs, with a 3.86 ERA (1-0, 3.00 in 2015). Simon tossed against the Bucs in the final exhibition, earning the win after allowing four runs on three hits over four innings, walking four and striking out three. He has a  4-5/3.60 line against Pittsburgh in his career. For Simon, tonight's a homecoming - he had three years with the Reds, including an All-Star 2014, went to Detroit in 2015, and returned to the fold in mid-March.

John Jaso leads it off... (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Lineup: John Jaso 1B, Cutch CF, David Freese 3B, Starling Marte LF, Fran Cervelli C, Gregory Polanco RF, Josh Harrison 2B, Jordy Mercer SS, Liriano P. It should seem familiar by now.

  • The Reds are one of the divisional rivals the Bucs have to learn to put away. The Pirates were just 8-11 against them in 2015 and were outscored 81-69. If you remember, the slow Pirate start in 2015 began with Cincy sweeping the opening three game series at GABP. 
  • Cincinnati is 3-0 after having swept the Phils, so it's an early battle of unbeatens.
  • Ray Searage is in his final contract year, but seems to be at home in Pittsburgh. He told Joe Starkey of 93.7 The Fan that “I’m gonna be a Pirate, and the Pirates have always taken care of me. I don’t foresee anything changing.” *whew!*
  • has picked IF Max Moroff, 22, as the Pirates' top under-the-radar prospect. Max didn't look out of place with the big leaguers at camp, hitting .333 after being named the Bucs Minor league Player of the Year in 2015 playing for Altoona (.293 BA/.374 OBP). He'll be at Indy this season.
  • The Indianapolis Indians roster is here. Four of the 16 pitchers are on the DL.
  • Wandy Rodriguez was offered a minor league deal with Houston; he's mulling it.

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