Pitchers: Jameson Taillon (2-1, 3.86) starts the set against Junior Guerra (6-2, 3.06). Jameson is coming off a couple down weeks following shoulder fatigue, so he'll be fresh for today's action; we'll see if rusty also applies. While JT has been giving up more flies than expected, his command has been sharp with 21 Ks and just five free passes. Hopefully, he'll pick up where he left off, tossing six strong innings against Seattle on June 29th. Guerra is a great story. The 31 year old, who served a couple of Indy League stints, has been solid in his first true MLB season. In his last 11 starts, he's given up more than three runs just once and left with a zero on the board four times, surrendering just seven hits per nine innings worked. Junior features a split fingered fastball as his go-to pitch. Neither twirler has ever faced the others' club.
|JT is back on the bump (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Lineup: JJ 1B, Gregory Polanco RF, Cutch CF, Starling Marte LF, Freeser 3B, Fran C, Josh 2B, Jordy SS, JT P. A couple MIA warriors return to action in El Coffee (out since July 8th) and Fran (out since June 10th); glad to see ya back, guys.
Preview: The Brew Crew will be active participants in the NL Central race during the dog days as 30 of their remaining 72 games are against the Bucs (16 contests) and Cubs. The Pirates are 2-1 against them this season and hope that they can avoid the Milwaukee voodoo. The Brewers are 39-51, eight games behind Pittsburgh, and 4-6 in their last 10 games while Pittsburgh is 13-6 since June 24th.
- Chad Kuhl was sent down to make room for JT on the roster while Erik Kratz was DFA'ed to clear a spot for Fran. The musical chairs will continue, as it appears w/Kuhl's return to Indy that Tyler Glasnow will start Saturday, requiring another move.
- The Bucco bullpen has a new look - they all have shaved heads now. Apparently the summer heat and humidity of Washington got to them last series.
- As reinforced by Fangraphs, the remaining schedule is kind to the Bucs as they rate it the easiest in MLB. But a point to watch is that the other wild card teams - the Fish, Mets and Cards - have the 3-4-5 easier sked projections, so it should make for a barnburner summer.
- David Freese is the Pirates' 2016 Heart and Hustle Award winner, the MLBPAA announced. The award is voted on by alumni and MLB'ers for active players who have a passion for the game and best embody its values, spirit and traditions. The next step is a league awardee. Josh won the overall MLB honor in 2014.
- There was a Pirates feel to the Indy game yesterday, with Tyler Glasnow on the hill and Josh Bell in the field - right field, to be exact, true to Neal Huntington's pronouncement when he was sent down. Tyler gave up three runs in six innings, on just two hits but w.three walks while K'ing nine. Bell went 1-for-3 with a double and walk.
- Four shutout innings for rehabbing Nick Kingham in the GCL.
- Kris Bryant told the Chicago Tribune that his favorite uni is none other than Pittsburgh's.