Pitchers: Ivan Nova (9-6, 4.68; 2-0, 2.92 PGH) closes the set versus Matt Cain (4-7, 5.47). It's a great match up; Nova-Cain begs for some painless (we hope) pre-game Pirates punning. Nova's Bucco line belies the way he's been pitching. His last outing was a fly ball/liner jamboree, and his bacon was saved by the play of the outfield. Ivan came here with a rep as a ground ball guy, so hopefully he'll settle in and start working down in the zone. Nova's given up a couple of bombs as a Buc, but he hasn't beat himself - in two outings, he has yet to walk a hitter. Cain had been on a three-game roll, but the Orioles banged him around pretty well in his last start. For him, it's been a matter of command; his heater has been catching too much plate and not enough black. So the Buccos may be aggressive at the dish if The Horse is having problems locating. He has a career 3-2/3.04 line in 11 starts against Pittsburgh.
|Ivan will try to burn a couple of worms tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Lineup: Josh 2B, Starling Marte LF, Cutch CF, Gregory Polanco RF, Freeser 3B, JJ 1B, Jordy SS, Eric Fryer, Nova P. JHK and Fran are getting blows today.
- Gregroy Polanco v LHP in 2016: .267/.326/.488 with four HR in 86 AB (95 PA).
- Yesterday's ninth inning intentional walk snafu (Tony Watson started walking a guy Clint wanted to work on) was a case of misread hand signals. Fran thought he saw the bench give the sign for an intentional walk, when the brain trust was actually calling for infield in. C' est la vie, it worked out in the end after Uncle Ray's visit to the mound cleared everything up.
- Another oddity from yesterday's game - Jameson Taillon & Jeff Samardzija had the exact same lines: six IP, three runs, six hits, one walk and five whiffs. Even the side stats were close. JT tossed 91 pitches (65 strikes), The Shark 95 (61 strikes); grounders to flies were 12-4 for Jamo, 12-3 for Samardzija, and Jameson faced 25 batters to Jeff's 24.