Pitchers: Gerrit Cole (7-8, 3.25) starts the set against Tom Koehler (9-8, 3.86). The Cole Train hasn't been running on smooth tracks this season. After a strong stretch of starts, his last two outings have been rough as lefties in particular have proven quite vexing. Koehler has been a solid performer for three seasons and is coming in on a roll. In his last five starts, he's been 3-0, 1.36 in 33 IP. The good news is that he's got a 4.29 ERA on the road, so maybe he'll be susceptible to the PNC blues although he has pitched well at Philly and Chicago during his recent hot spell.
|The Cole Train looks to start chooglin' again (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Lineup: Josh 2B, Starling Marte LF, Cutch CF, Gregory Polanco RF, David Freese 1B, Jung Ho Kang 3B, Fran Cervelli C, Jordy SS, Cole Train P. Rested and on a roll with the A team lineup on the field.
Preview: The Pirates have claimed each of their last four series after being left for road kill and have won 9-of-12. The Marlins are 5-11 during August and have fallen behind the Bucs in the wild card race, so this is a big series for both clubs, even with six or so weeks left in the season. The Pirates luck out again with the pitching as Fish ace Jose Fernandez went yesterday and will miss the set. Giancola Stanton is out, too, done for the season with a groin pull. The Marlins do have some capable sticks left with guys like Christian Yelich, Dee Gordon, Marcell Ozuna, Martin Prado and Icharo. Miami took 3-of-4 games earlier in the year at their park, losing a blowout then coming back to take three squeakers. It sets up to be an intense, grinder series at the ball yard as the stretch run for playoff spots begins to take form.
- Adam Berry of MLB.com has the story on Cutch's bounce back...and Andrew swears his unrequested vacation had nothing to do with it.
- Nick Kingham is working his way back on the radar after TJ surgery. He went five shutout innings for Bradenton on Wednesday.
- Joakim Soria went unclaimed after he was put on revocable waivers by KC. He left Pittsburgh last season to sign a three-year, $25M contract. Soria has a 4.03 ERA, with good whiff and ground ball rates but the highest walk total of his career. He can be traded freely now, tho that contract makes it kinda rough row to hoe for the Royals.
- Alex Presley is back...with the Detroit Tigers, who called him up from AAA.
- Sean Burnett was picked up by the Nats from the Twins; looks like he'll go from one AAA club to another.