Pitchers: Chad Kuhl (1-0, 5.40) gets his second start, taking on Rich Hill (8-3, 2.25). Chad showed some good velocity in his debut, but he also showed a wild streak, so we'll see if he can zero in on some strike-throwing tonight during his first jog around the MLB block. He doesn't get much slack in the assignments he's drawn; first Clayton Kershaw and now A's ace Rich Hill. Southpaw Hill is coming of the DL, missing all of June with a groin tweak, but he's been all that for Oakland with 74 K in 64 IP and gone 7-1 with a 1.76 ERA over his past eight starts. He also may not have much time left on his Bay watch; he signed a one-year deal and several clubs have been sniffing around him as the trade season opens.
|Chad is looking to settle in and claim a regular turn in the Bucco rotation (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
Lineup: Jordy SS, Freeser 1B, Cutch CF, JHK 3B, El Coffee DH, Starling LF, S-Rod RF, Josh 2B, Eric Kratz C, Kuhl P. Looks like Stew is still banged up; he hasn't gotten back-to-back games in a while. Gregory is hitting just .234 against lefties, but the Pirate MO is to trot him out against them; sounds like a plan to make him a complete, everyday threat.
- Maybe the worm has turned. The Bucs are 5-of-7 in wins now, and taking the series would give them a head of steam heading into St. Louis over the holiday weekend.
- John Perrotto of Todays Knuckleball takes a look at Frankie and his mental state.