Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sunday: Jon Niese v John Lackey, Lineup, Notes

Today: The lead-in to the All Star break is slated to start at 1:35 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan. The Bucs are looking to broom the Cubbies after Chicago swept them during their last PNC visit.

Pitchers: Jon Niese (7-6, 4.87) tackles John Lackey (7-5, 3.50). Niese danced through some raindrops in dropping the Cards on the 4th, but he's been a punching bag for the Bruins. Jon's lost both starts he's made against them this season, with an 8.71 ERA. It'll be interesting to see how he reacts amidst the smoke of trade rumors swirling around him. There will be some scouts from interested clubs checking him out today in would could turn into his last Bucco start. Lackey is on a three game losing streak, and this will be the first time he's twirled against the Pirates in 2016.

Jon Niese takes the Bucs into All Star break (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Lineup: JJ 1B, Starling Marte LF, Cutch CF, Freeser 3B, S-Rod 2B, Adam Frazier RF, Jordy SS, Eric Fryer C, Niese P. Gregory, Josh and Matt Joyce are all sporting various aches, so a day off before the ASB is just what the doctor ordered.

  • Didn't take long for Josh Bell to get a clubhouse moniker - "Juice Bell, that's your name, man," dubbed locker room leader Cutch.
  • X-rays taken of Josh Harrison's foot last night came back negative. He's day-to-day with a bruise after getting clipped by a pitch last night. 
  • This is the sixth straight season the Pirates will have a winning record at the ASB for the first time since All-Star games began in 1933 per @stephenjnesbitt.
  • Josh Bell factoids compliments of @joe_block: Before Josh Bell, last Pirates player to pinch-hit a homer in his first or second career game was RC Stevens on 4/19/1958 and the last player with four RBI during a game in his first two matches was Dr. Strangeglove, Dick Stuart, on 7/11/1958. Bell also became the first Pirate since Enrique Romo against the Mets on 10/1/1980 to have his first homer be a grand slam (and for Enrique, it was his only career dinger!)
  • Ryan Vogelsong will make a rehab start for the Altoona Curve this afternoon. 
  • Alen Hansen must be feeling left out at Indy - he went 7-for-9 in a doubleheader split yesterday. Alen had a double, walk, three runs scored and three RBI while lifting his BA to .274. He's 16-of-32 over his past 10 games.

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