Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday: Ivan Nova v Ross Stripling, Lineup, Preview, Notes

Tonight: The game and series are slated to kick off at 10:10 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

Pitchers: Ivan Nova (8-6, 4.83; 1-0, 3.86 Pgh) v Ross Stripling (3-3, 3.79). Ivan was workmanlike is his last outing, which is a step up from what the Bucs had been getting. We'll see how working in the NL suits him; the Pirates FO seems pretty high on his potential. Stripling is replacing Rich Hill, who is still bothered by a blister. He started in the LA rotation, went on the DL (lower body fatigue, thought by many as a way to shut him down and save some IP. Sound familiar?) and returned in late July, working from the pen. His last outing was a start, and he shut out Boston for five innings on four hits. The 26-year-old's major issue will  be pitch count as LA has handled their young guys with kid gloves. This will be the first time either twirler has met the opposing club.

Ivan Nova hits the hill for the second time as a Buc (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Lineup: Josh 2B, Starling Marte LF, Cutch CF, Gregory Polanco RF, Freeser 3B, Jordy SS, S-Rod 1B, Eric Fryer C, Nova P. The new look lineup stays intact; JJ and JHK sit while Freeser and S-Rod play, which sounds about right. Eric is behind the dish; Fran's wrist is apparently still sore.

Preview: The Dodgers have a duct-taped rotation and lost Clayton Kershaw, but have hung tough and are dancing with the Giants for the NL West crown. The Pirates will see two pups and a dog-eared vet in this series, and none of them get very deep into games. That suits Big Blue. Their bullpen has a 3.14 ERA, best in the NL, and have worked even more innings than the Pirates beleaguered relief corps. The left coasters do it with a middle-of-the-pack offense, even with Corey Seager's red hot campaign. So the Pirates are looking to win the six-inning game; it's tough to spot the Dodgers a lead and overtake them. Overall, the Bucs have matched up well recently against Blue. Pittsburgh took three out of four at PNC Park in June and is 13-4 versus Los Angeles since the start of 2014.

  • Fran Cervelli doesn't have a structural injury. He said he's suffering from tendinitis that sometimes gets aggravated when he bats. 
  • Pittsburgh just finished its 20 game stretch against the bottom feeders; they went 10-10. A not-so-friendly run is coming up starting tonight against the Dodgers, then the Giants, Marlins and Astros.
  • Chris Stewart is slated to go seven innings behind the plate tonight for the Curve in his first rehab start since his knee flare up. 
  • The Pirates' replaced the September 10th Frankie Liriano bobblehead giveaway with a Zambelli fireworks night. Can't lose with fireworks in this town, but Frankie had a lot to do with the Pirates rebound even if he is gone. We think they should have stuck to Plan A. BTW, the JHK bobblehead concerns ended up not a big thing. 18 fans decided to not take the Kang likeness yesterday and opted for an alternate freebie.

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