Pitchers: Ryan Vogelsong (3-3, 3.02) will toss the series finale versus Jason Hammel (13-7, 3.21). Ryan has been a dependable back-ender since he's joined the rotation, getting the Bucs into or through the sixth very competitively. Vogey's one iffy issue has been control; he's walked nine in his last 17 IP. He's faced the Cubs twice this year and was touched for a run in 3-1/3 innings with both outings in relief. Hammel flipped days with the originally scheduled starter, Mike Montgomery. He'll have a chip on his shoulder, as he was peeved at getting a quick hook in his last outing and let skipper Maddon know about it. Not that we can blame Joe - in Hammel's last two games, he's gone 5-2/3 IP, giving up nine ER (13 overall) on 15 hits. But he's beaten Pittsburgh twice this year, working 11-2/3 innings and yielding three earned runs, so we'll see which streak stays intact.
|V-Song closes out the Cubbie set (photo Scot Tucker/SF Bay)|
Lineup: Josh Harrison 2B, Josh Bell 1B, Cutch CF, Gregory Polanco RF, Starling Marte LF, Fran Cervlli C, S-Rod 3B, Jordy SS, Vogelsong P. Freeser's bat has been in the deep freeze this month, so Clint's giving him a day off and putting S-Rod at the hot corner.
- The Pirates traded Kyle Lobstein, who was just DFA'ed, to the O's for LH reliever Zach Phillips. He'll report to Indy but won't go on the 40-man roster. The 29-year-old southpaw slashed 9-3-1/4.45 with 12.5 K/9 against 4.5 BB/9 over 60-2/3 IP at AAA Norfolk, and has 19 MLB appearances over three seasons (last in 2013) with a 3.45 ERA and the same high K, high walk profile.
- The Pirates prospects assigned to the Surprise Seguras of the Arizona League were announced today. They are OF Austin Meadows, IF Eric Wood, C Jin-de Jhang, RHP Montana DuRapau, RHP Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP Edgar Santana & RHP Trevor Williams. It's a fairly loaded group; the Pirates usually send players who are more bubble-prospect types.