Pitchers: Jon Niese (3-0, 4.24) toes the rubber v Jon Gray (0-0, 9.00). Niese has only failed to get into the sixth once this year, but except for a strong outing against the Brewers has been kinda meh, although in justice a couple of those games featured some ugly fielding behind him. He's 3-3 with a 5.34 ERA in nine starts against Colorado. One thing to watch - he's been leaking long balls, not a good thing at Coors. Gray is a bit of a mystery, making just his second start after beginning the season on the disabled list with an abdominal strain. His heater hits 96, but hasn't blown away many Pirates; he was 0-1/8.00 in two outings against them in 2015.
|Jon Niese goes tonight (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 SS, Niese P. The gang's back together now that there's a righty on the hill.
- Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte are tied for the MLB lead in doubles with nine. The team has banged out 50 two-baggers, tops in the NL.
- LOL stat from @espn: "Andrew McCutchen had as many home runs (3) in 5 at-bats last night as the Braves have had in 674 at-bats this year."
- Bad news for a good guy: Charlie Morton will require surgery and miss the rest of the season because of a torn left hamstring, per the Phillies.
- Astros backup catcher and former Bucco Erik Kratz pitched an inning yesterday. He threw more pitches 85 MPH+ in that frame (and a knuckler!) than Jered Weaver has this season by a 9-7 margin. (Thx to @darenw).