Pitchers: Frankie Liriano (1-1, 4.64) meets Alfredo Simon (0-2, 16.39). Guys are waiting out Francisco, making him throw strikes, and that's been a smart play. Liriano leads the league with 17 walks in 21-1/3 IP. He went five innings against Cincy earlier in the year, giving up five hits, four walks and three runs. He hasn't done well against the Reds, going 1-5 in 13 outings. The Cubs (twice) and Cards have ripped Simon. But he's a tough nut for Pittsburgh; he gave up one earned run over five innings against them earlier in the month and slashes 4-5/3.46 in his career.
|Frankie on the hill (2016 Topps Series 1)|
Lineup: John Jaso 1B, Cutch CF, David Freese 3B, Starling Marte LF, Fran Cervelli C, Gregory Polanco RF, Josh harrison 2B, Jordy SS, Frankie P. This has been about as stable a Pirate lineup so far as we've seen during the PNC era.
- The Pirates activated Jared Hughes from his rehab assignment. To make room, Rob Scahill has been optioned to AAA Indy.
- The Pirates are doing more than just making contact.Per Fangraphs, four are making hard contact better than 1/3 of the time - David Freese (42%), Gregory Polanco (36%), Fran Cervelli (34%) and Starling Marte (34%). Three of them are at 85% or better at squaring up to drill hard/medium balls - Freese (92%), Polanco (89%) and Fran (85%). Not many softball hitters in April.
- The Reds have gone 4-13 since taking two of three against the Pirates during the first week of the season.
- The Pirate coaches signed through next season are pitching coach Ray Searage, hitting coach Jeff Branson, 1B coach Nick Leyva, 3B coach Rick Sofield, ass't hitting coach Jeff Livesey, catching coach Brad Fischer, bullpen coach Euclides Rojas and his ass't Herbie Andrade.
- Big day for the farm - five of the 20 players on this week's Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet are young Buccos: Steven Brault, Tyler Glasnow, Josh Bell, Mitch Keller and Jameson Taillon. All but Keller are at Indy; Mitch, 20, is tossing for the WV Power in the Low A Sally League.