Pitchers: Gerrit Cole (7-8, 3.30) finishes off the set against Collin McHugh (7-10, 4.99 ERA). Cole has never faced Houston, and McHugh has seen the Bucs once as a Met rookie in 2012. Cole Train has been derailed in his last three starts (12 ER in 16-2/3 IP, 6.48), and a return to form would be a big boost to the Bucs postseason chances. McHugh could be the cure the doc ordered. He's 0-4, 9.00 in his last five starts with a pair of beat-downs and three more workmanlike outings. Collin does have strikeout chops and decent control, but teams have been squaring it up pretty well against him lately. If both guys live down to their recent standards, there should be hits aplenty piling up in the ol' ball yard this afternoon.
|Gerrit goes for the series win (photo USA Today)|
Lineup: Josh Harrison 2B, Matt Joyce RF, Starling Marte CF, Gregory Polanco LF, Josh Bell 1B, Fran Cervelli C, S-Rod 3B, Jordy SS, Cole P. More shake 'n' bake from Clint on getaway day. Cutch gets a day off and so does Freeser while Fran catches both sides of night-to-day contests.
- Ivan Nova's complete-game six-hitter left him 3-0 with a 3.20 ERA in four starts with Pittsburgh since coming over from the Yankees at the trade deadline. The last Pirates pitcher to go 3-0 or better with an ERA that low over his first four starts with the team was Zach Duke, who went 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA over his first four starts for the Pirates in 2005. The last Pirates pitcher to throw a complete game within his first four starts with the team was Kevin Correia in 2011, also in start number four per Elias Sports Bureau.
- The first six Pirates reaching base on hits is the longest Bucco string to start a game since 1975 when eight straight Corsairs had hits against the Atlanta Braves to tie an MLB record. The '75 batters were Frank Taveras (triple), Rennie Stennett (single), Al Oliver (single), Willie Stargell (single), Richie Zisk (single), Dave Parker (single), Richie Hebner (single) and Duffy Dyer (single), per Elias Sports Bureau.
- Jameson Taillon told 93.7 The Fan this regarding any inning limits: “We’re it by ear. I have to be honest with them and tell them how I’m feeling, how I’m recovering between starts. As far as I’ve been told, I’m good to pitch.”
- If you wondered, the Bucs Neftali Feliz and the Astros' Michael Feliz are cousins who work out together in the winter and stay in touch during the season.
- Jung Ho Kang's injury is a left shoulder subluxation (a dislocation, more or less). He's throwing and playing catch, but can't hit yet.
- Stew has caught a half dozen games at Altoona with no ill effects; looks like they're waiting until September 1st to bring him back.
- Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to throw a bullpen session today, and if that works out, then begin a rehab assignment at Indy.
- Gorkys Hernandez was just recalled by the Giants.