Pitchers: Jon Niese (0-1, 7.20) goes against Justin Verlander (0-0, 4.50). Niese's line is skewed by some shoddy glovework in his last outing against the Cards. It'll be interesting to see how he does against a loaded lineup, which he hasn't seen since 2010. In his last outing, he flipped his pitch-to-contact rep by whiffing seven. Verlander is 4-1 lifetime against the Pirates with a 3.00 ERA in six starts and held Bucco batters to a .196 BA. His start was pushed back a day; he was slated to go Sunday, but the game was lost to bad weather.
|Jon Niese meets Justin Verlander (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
Lineup: John Jaso, 1B, Cutch CF, Matt Joyce DH, Starling Marte, LF, Fran Cervelli C, Gregory Polanco RF, Josh Harrison 2B, S-Rod 3B, Jordy Mercer SS (Niese P). Joyce, not too surprisingly, gets the DH nod; he's a lefty with 350 PAs at DH as a former AL'er and is hitting .353 v Verlander. After a rough couple of days in Cincy, David Freese takes a seat and S-Rod gets a start.
- Pittsburgh was 8-2 on the road against the AL last season, including a three-game sweep at Comerica.
- Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects reported that Trevor Williams was pulled from his start yesterday with right shoulder soreness.