Pitchers: Chad Kuhl (1-0, 4.09) faces Jon Lester (9-4, 2.67). Chad's faced nothing but heavyweights in his first two starts and Pittsburgh has won both outings, so his compete level runs at the red line. Command is another issue, and we'll see if he can get back to living down in the zone like he did at Indy; he's been elevating his stuff here. As the MLB adrenaline rush wears off, hopefully he'll settle in. Jon got clobbered in his last outing, but it was only his second clunker of the campaign. Lester has pretty much had his way with the Bucs, though, going 2-1/1.96 so far this year. The other side of that coin is that in two games, the Pirates hit him fairly well but couldn't cash in their chips, so the vigorish may be on their side tonight.
|Chad gets tonight's call (photo Eric Siebert/Bradenton Herald)|
Lineup: Jordy SS, Freeser 1B, Cutch CF, JHK 3B, Starling Marte LF, S-Rod RF, Josh 2B, Eric Fryer C, Kuhl P. Gregory is out; we're assuming the Bucs will keep him on ice through the ASB and try to get him ready for the second half.
- Starling Marte was (quite deservedly, may we add) named to the NL All-Star team in place of the injured Yoenis Cespedes and joins Mark Melancon as 2106 All-Stars. Starling entered today ranked ninth in the National League in hitting (.316), second in stolen bases (27), fourth in multi-hit games (31) and tied for second in outfield assists (nine).
- JJ took some grounders at third today. Don't know that there's anything to read into it, but Josh Bell is a switch hitter...