Pitchers: Francisco Liriano (3-3, 4.63) opens against Shelby Miller (1-5, 6.64). Even with the disaster in Chicago, Frankie has had strong outings in three of his last four starts. But in his earlier April match against the Snakes, he went six frames, giving up four runs on five hits, two of which left the park. In five career starts v Arizona, he's 1-0/3.16. Miller has been a little steadier in May than he was in April, bring his ERA down two full runs, but still has been pitching like a back-ender. He hasn't faced the Bucs since 2014, and is 2-6/4.29 lifetime against them.
|Frankie on the mound tonight (photo USA Today Sports)|
Lineup: John Jaso 1B, Cutch CF, Gregory Polanco RF, Jung Ho Kang 3B, Starling Marte LF, Josh Harrison 2B, Jordy SS, Stew C, Frankie P. Fran gets a breather, and it's good to see JHK back in action after he bruised his hand.
Series Preview: The Bucs took 2-of-3 at Arizona in April, but the two Pirates wins were feisty affairs, with the Snakes rallying from early holes and almost snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. They come into town winning 4-of-6, including 2-of-3 from the Cards, so it's a matchup of two teams playing well. It should be a hold-on-to-your-seats series.
- Still no word on Ryan Vogelsong; we'd imagine he's still being tested, and the inevitable swelling isn't helping the docs out any. But his wife Nicole tweeted last night that he was "stable and will be ok..." so that's great news to hear.
- Ross Ohlendorf has won his appeal after being fined and suspended three days for plunking David Freese; both have been rescinded.
- Keith Lott of Fantasy Sports rated the Top 50 AAA pitchers on a points system - the Pirates had two of the top three in Jemason Taillon and Tyler Glasnow, #15 with Chad Kuhl and #38, Wilfredo Boscan. Four of the top forty ain't bad.
- Jason Bay and Freddy Sanchez will represent the Pirates at the June 9th MLB draft.
- The Twins have signed lefty Sean Burnett to a minor-league deal. Hard to believe he broke in with the Bucs in 2004 and is still only 33.
- Plum's Alex Kirilloff has been named Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year. The 1B was also named the Max Prep PA Player of the Year earlier. He projects as a first rounder (prob as an outfielder - he's 6-2, 200 lb and fast), and if so, would be the first western PA HS'er to go that early since Pine-Richland's Neil Walker in 2004.