Pitchers: Jon Niese (6-5, 4.93) begins the match against Hisashi Iwakuma (6-6, 4.45). After a six-game string of strong starts, Niese has been tagged for 12 runs in his past two outings, lasting 10-2/3 IP. Iwakuma has followed roughly the same path. He put together six solid outings where he worked at least seven innings before a beat down and fifth inning exit against Detroit, so both guys are looking for bounce backs. Niese hasn't faced Seattle since 2013; Iwakuma has never twirled against the Bucs. One thing for sure - the outfielders should play deep tonight; both guys give up plenty of bombs (Jon 18; Hisashi 17).
|Adam Frazier gets a start today (photo via 2080 Baseball)|
Lineup: JJ 1B, Gregory Polanco DH, Cutch CF, Starling Marte LF, Matt Joyce RF, David Freese 3B, Adam Frazier 2B, Jordy SS, Stew C, Niese P. Gregory's back, so that's good even if it is as DH. It's not a surprise that Mr. Frazier is getting to show his stuff - Josh is hitting below the Mendoza line in June. JHK is batting .158 in his last 10 games, w/Freeser just a hair higher at .235; Clint's hoping to get one them jump started.
Preview: This is the beginning of a nine game road trip for the Pirates. This quick two game set will be followed by an off day Thursday, then three games at Oakland and four more against the Cards at Busch Stadium. Pittsburgh cruises into the ASB with a three game series at PNC against da Cubbies; that's seven pretty big games to close out the first half of the campaign.
- The geeky fivethirtyeight mag has a Neil Paine piece on the travails of Cutch and what it may portend.
- Gerrit Cole threw off a mound today for the second time, using all his pitches, so there's a light at the end of his tunnel.
- Breaking bad: One-time Bucco prospect Adrian Sampson, sent to Seattle for JA Happ last year, made his major-league debut for the Mariners last week and would have been on schedule to face his former organization this trip. But he had elbow pain warming up for his next outing, and it was determined that he would need surgery to repair a flexor bundle injury in his elbow, killing his rookie campaign.
- So long, Figgy: The LA Dodgers claimed IF Cole Figueroa off waivers and optioned him to AAA Oklahoma City.
- OF Austin Meadows (US team) & Lithuanian RHP Dovydas Neverauskas (World team) of Indy were selected as members of the 2016 Sirius All Star Futures Game.
- The Pirates announced the signing of 11th-round pick, RHP Max Kranick from PA's Valley View HS, who had committed to Virginia, the second prep overdraft they inked through underdrafting to save (and redirect) some bucks in the first ten rounds.
- OF Alex Presley was DFA'ed by the Brewers.
- Eric Fryer, one of a legion of 2011 Bucco catchers, was DFA'd by Cards.