Pitchers: Jameson Taillon (3-4, 3.47) takes on Anthony DeSclafani (8-3, 2.93) in the lidlifter. Jamo got a paid vacation last start, and hopefully he'll be as rarin' to go as Chad Kuhl was on Thursday. JT has been pretty consistent in his first rodeo; he's given up more than two runs just twice in his last eight starts, dating back to July 30th, and six of those outings have gone six innings or better. Same thing for DeSclafani; six of his last eight appearances have resulted in two or fewer earned runs scored, and he's gone six innings or more in seven of those games, also from July 30th. So sit back and enjoy watching two of the better young guns in the NL Central have at it.
|Jamo is rested and should be good to go (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Lineup: Matt Joyce LF, Josh Bell 1B, Cutch CF, Gregory Polanco RF, Jung Ho Kang 3B, Fran Cervelli C, S-Rod SS, Alen Hanson 2B, Jamo P. No Starling yet, and Jordy gets a game off. Today will be Hanson's first MLB start.
- Adam Frazier is in a walking boot after taking a foul ball off his foot Thursday, explaining why he why didn't appear in yesterday's 10-inning match.
- Gregory Polanco's biggest problem: his BABIP for the second half of the season is .238, per Baseball Reference. Some of it is bad luck; some of it is because different pitching tactics, and some of it is discipline - his K rate is about the same as earlier, but his walks have gone way down as he's fishing for more pitches and batting in pitcher's counts more often.
- The Bucs aren't the only ones in wild card purgatory. The Cards have lost 5-of-6 and are three games behind the Giants and two back of the Mets in the wild card dance. Pittsburgh is five back in the loss column to New York.