Pitchers: Ivan Nova (2-0, 4.41 Pirates; 9-6, 4.83 overall) faces off against Joe Musgrove (1-1, 4.18). Nova has generally been getting good reviews, though to us he hasn't been anything more than a garden-variety fifth starter. He's been hit fairly squarely in his maiden NL cruise, although for the most part keeping his scoreboard damage under control. Ivan is armed with some good stuff when he keeps it down, so the road may get smoother if he can kick it in. Musgrove fanned eight in 4-1/3 IP to tie the MLB record for most by a reliever in his first game. Since then, he's had a pair of very good starts and one not-so-good one last time out against Baltimore. In 19-1/3 IP as a starter, he's whiffed 15 and walked just two. Joe was stingy with hits, too, until the O's lit him up for three homers, so we'll see if the 23-year-old bounces back or is entering his learning curve cycle.
|Ivan Nova gets his fourth Bucco start (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Lineup: Adam Frazier 2B, Matt Joyce RF, Cutch CF, Gregory Polanco LF, David Freese 3B, Josh Bell 1B, Fran Cervelli C, Jordy SS, Nova P. Lil' shakeup by Clint, giving Josh and Starling the night off for Fraze and Joyce to try to get some jump from the top of the lineup.
- Matt Joyce is in the two-hole for just the second time this campaign, but w/.398 OBP against righties, he fits the bill.
- After winning four straight series, the Pirates have now lost four games in a row. Houston has taken four consecutive victories.