Pitchers: Francisco Liriano (4-3, 4.30) ends the set against Martin Perez (2-4, 3.13) in another lefty matchup. Frankie needs to toss some early strikes; guys are waiting him out to get into good counts, run up his pitch total and draw a few walks. That goes against Lirinao's chase 'em mind set, so we'll see. Francisco has won his last four starts against Texas with a 1.63 ERA but hasn't faced them since 2013. Struggling Derek Holland was in line for today's start, but was pushed back a day, which doesn't help the Bucco cause. Perez is tough - his last outing was six shutout frames v the LA Angels. His Achilles heel, if he has one, is "bad inning syndrome," where he gives up a crooked number of runs; it's bit him in five of his starts. Even with that, he's only given up four+ runs twice this season, and he's tough at home, where he's 2-1/2.08 in five starts.
|Frankie on the hill (photo Associated Press)|
Lineup: Jordy SS, Cutch CF, David Freese 1B, Jung Ho Kang 3B, Starling LF, Fran Cervelli C, S-Rod 2B, Matt Joyce RF, Stew C (Frankie P). Kinda off-one lineup, but Josh is still sick, Fran gets a well deserved break from the dish as the DH, Gregory gets an R&R day against a LHP (another LH, Matt Joyce, gets the call as S-Rod is filling in for Josh), JHK is back in the field with Freeser shifting to first...gotta admit, the Bucs don't just pay lip service to versatility.
- Frankie has been Jekyll and Hyde this year - at PNC, he's 3-1/1.42 in four starts w/an opponent BA of .187, while away from the Allegheny he's 1-2/7.00 in five outings with his foes hitting .291, even including his strong showing against the Cards. He's given up 8 of his 9 HR on the road.
- May Day - our two contract kids have had wildly divergent Mays. Gregory Polanco has slashed .308/.357/.560, while Fran Cervelli has eked out a .186/.206/.2000 line in the past four weeks.