Pitchers: Chad Kuhl (5-3, 3.73) opens the set against Kyle Hendricks (15-8, 2.06). Chad was strong in his last outing, but hasn't had much success against the Big Blue Machine - in 7-1/3 IP, he's given up seven runs on 11 hits, with two that went yard. The good news is his second start was much better than the first, so maybe the third time's the charm. Hendricks has toyed with the Pirates in his two 2016 starts against them, giving up a run on 10 hits in 14 IP with 16K, and has gone 21 straight starts giving up three or fewer runs. The Dartmouth grad is on the Cy Young short list, so Chad needs all the cool he can muster to hang in this game.
|Chad opens the set tonight (photo Joe Guzzy/Pirates)|
Lineup: John Jaso 1B, Josh Bell RF, Cutch CF, Jung Ho Kang 3B, S-Rod 2B, Fran Cervelli C, Adam Frazier LF, Jordy SS, Kuhl P. Good to see Fran back; Gregory is apparently still feeling the effects of his head-on with the wall.
Preview: Step back, nothing to look at here - the Pirates have been a train wreck against Chicago, going 3-12 so far in the 2016 series. The Bucs showed a little spunk in the last set at Wrigley, so we'll see if that carries over this week. The Cubs aren't making concessions, at least until Thursday, with Hendicks, Lackey and Arrieta on the bump; we'll see how Joe Madden plays with the lineup. They're coming into town looking for their 100th win and have already clinched home field for the playoffs. The Cubs are kinda coasting now with a 7-5 record since the 13th and Pirates did take 2-of-3 the last time Chi-town visited PNC, so there's that...
- The Pirates traded for IF Chris Bostick of the Nats in exchange for High-A catcher Taylor Gushue and cash. Bostick will take Josh Harrison’s spot on the 40-man, with J-Hay sent to 60-day DL. Bostick , who was DFA'ed, won't go on the active roster; he looks like a depth guy. Gushue hasn't hit well on the farm and is reputed to be a good receiver but not noticeably strong against the running game, w/ the usual caveat of there's usually not much help from the pitchers in the lower levels in that regard.
- •@Sawchik_Trib tweeted "Could Jung Ho Kang play some shortstop in 2017? Hurdle hinted at it today." That could be a hint at S-Rod heading for greener pastures in the off season as there are no true SS's save P-Flo & Gift Ngoepe in the upper levels. It was also allow them to carry Freeser and JJ, who are limited to the corners.