Pitchers: Juan Nicasio (4-4, 4.79) tosses the finale against Wei-Yin Chen (3-2, 4.37). Juan hasn't met the minimal quality start standard in his last four outings, and Clint told him after the last game to pitch with conviction from the get-go rather than feel out opposing lineups. Maybe that will light a little fire. Miami's Taiwanese southpaw was one of the Marlin's big off season signings, and been steady; he's kept opponents at three runs or less in seven of his ten starts. Most of his peripherals are in line with his Baltimore years and his FIP is half a run lower than his ERA, so Chen is still pitching pretty well beneath the surface stats.
|Juan is trying to find his way as a starter (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Lineup: Josh Harrison 2B, Cutch CF, Freeser 1B, JHK 3B, Fran Cervelli C, Starling Marte LF, Jordy SS, Matt Joyce RF, Nicasio P. Gregory is still out with a sore foot; but Joyce has done pretty well against lefties (4-for-12 w/three walks) so far this season.
The Pirate bats have been quiet on the road; opening outbursts in the series openers against Texas and Miami were good for 19 runs, and then just seven tallies were rung up in the other four games. If the Bucs can't rally behind Juan - and this is a tough match up v Chen - they'll head home just 2-5 on this swing south.
- Gregory's foot X-Ray came back negative and the swelling has gone done considerably. He's available from the bench tonight.