Pitchers: Jameson Taillon (2-2, 3.52) starts the set against Anthony DeSclafani (6-0, 2.93). JT is looking for a home groove; he's gotten four no-decisions at PNC Park with a 4.50 ERA, while he's 2-2, 2.63 away from the Allegheny. In six starts in July, DeSclafani went 4-0 with a 3.82 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. The 26-year-old has been tough on the Bucs, going 1-1, 2.59 in four 2015 starts. It shapes up to be a dandy matchup between a pair of up-and-coming young righties.
|JT is looking to claim his first PNC scalp tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Lineup: Josh 2B, Starling Marte LF, Cutch CF, Matt Joyce RF, Freeser 3B, JJ 1B, Fran C, Jordy SS, Taillon P. Clint just can't quite make up his mind with his lineups, though it does look like he wants to ride David Freese and Matt Joyce while they're cookin'.
Preview: The Pirates are just 4-4 v the Reds. As with the Brewers, the Bucs just love shooting themselves in the foot against the Central have-nots. Cincinnati expects to get Zach Cozart back today, but Pittsburgh won't see Jay Bruce, who was shipped to the Mets. Cincy, btw, has won 5-of-7, and just took 2-of-3 from the Cards. The Pirates are 1-of-5 and returning home after being dazed & confused at Milwaukee and Atlanta.
- Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports thinks Neil Huntington did just fine at the deadline, thank you. Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball agrees, giving the FO a "B" grade for deadline dealing.
- Austin Meadows has finished his rehab and is back at Indy.
- WV Power RH Mitch Keller, 20, has been selected as the best pitcher in the South Atlantic League for 2016. Keller was a second round pick in the 2014 draft, slashing 6-5, 3.02 while averaging a whiff per inning. He's already a Top Ten Pirates prospect according to mosr services.
- Your assignment in philosophy today: Follow how Jon Niese does in NY and how Antonio Bastardo pitches here. The Mets' pitching credo is down and away while the Pirates like to bust it inside, and that philosophical divergence may have led to a round peg, square hole syndrome for the two. It'll be interesting to see if a reversal of targets eventually restores their 2015 levels of performance.