Friday, July 1, 2016

Friday: Jeff Locke v Sonny Gray, Lineup, Notes, Preview

Tonight: The game begins at 10:05 at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum. Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan will carry the action.

Pitchers: Jeff Locke (7-5, 5.12) opens the series against Sonny Gray (3-6, 5.03). Jeff has a nice little two game streak against Cal teams with outstanding efforts against the Giants and Dodgers, so an A's Locke-down would hit the trifecta. The guy Pirates fans love to hate has won six of his last eight decisions, the fruits of adopting a more aggressive style from the rubber, issuing just one walk in his last 17-2/3 frames. Gray hasn't won a game since April, but then again, he hasn't had a lot of support. The former top gun put up a solid 3.23 ERA in June, surrendering three earned runs in his last two starts covering 12 IP, but without a W to show for his efforts. He has had command & control issues pop up, which a patient Bucco approach could exploit. Neither guy has faced each others' club since 2013.

Another Locke-Down tonight? (photo Kim Klement/USA Today)

Lineup: JJ 1B, Gregory Polanco RF, Cutch CF, Starling Marte LF, David Freese 3B, Matt Joyce DH, Josh Harrison 2B, Jordy SS, Stew C, Locke P. Gregory is back in the field finally as the Three Amigos reunite.

Preview: Seems like a broken record, but the A's are sizzling right now, having won 6-of-8 after taking three of four from both the Los Angeles Angels and the Giants, while the Bucs have righted the ship a bit by taking 4-of-6. Oakland has done it by brute force, scoring 59 runs in their last eight games and with consistency - five runs were the fewest they've plated in that span. So the Bucco pitching will be challenged (imagine that!), and they'll need the offense to run-and-gun to have success on this visit. And a bit of dark history - the A's are 11-1 vs. the Pirates all-time and never lost game to Pittsburgh at The Coliseum.

  • Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors has his Top 20 List of players who could be on the deadline block. The Pirates are repped by The Shark and Freeser. 
  • In today's sim game,  Cole Train threw 45 pitches and Ryan Vogelsong tossed 40. Fran shadow caught and hit off a tee.
  • John Dreker of Pirates Prospects reports that Rinku Singh, one of the "Million Dollar Arms" who's been out of action since 2012, has been assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab.

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