Pitching: Juan Nicasio (1-0, 1.50) v Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 3.60). Nicasio was all that against the Cards, going six frames and giving up a run on two hits to go along with seven whiffs. He's one of the big story lines of the early season as he tries to make his mark as a starter. The biggest thing to watch is his dependence on the fastball/slider combo; he may need to find a third pitch as a starter. Sanchez is 2-5 against Pittsburgh, with a 3.57 ERA. The Pirates took him deep three times last year, beating Sanchez and Motown 5-4.
|Juan climbs the hill today (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
Lineup: Matt Joyce DH, Cutch CF, David Freese 3B, Starling Marte LF, Fran Cervelli C, Gregory Polanco RF, Josh Harrison 2B, Michael Morse 1B, Jordy Mercer SS (Nicasio P). Joyce has been hot and moves to leadoff; Morse gives JJ a blow at first, good timing in that Jaso (1-for-16) doesn't hit Sanchez.
- Like Jeff Locke, Jon Niese has to keep an eye on smoothing his mechanics. He told the press gang after yesterday's game that he's working on staying back. He felt like in his first outing that he was was getting his body going too quickly and not allowing his arm to catch up.
- The Bucs lead MLB with a .402 OBP. Second and third are the Cubs and Cards.
- If you follow social media at all, you know that Tiger fan Bill Dugan, sitting behind the plate, snagged five foul balls. Bill gave them all away to kids.
- RHP Mitch Keller, a 20 year old second rounder out of HS in 2014, whiffed ten in five innings while allowing just an infield single for West Virginia, but to no avail - the Power lost 2-0.