Pitchers: Ivan Nova (12-6, 4.13; 5-0, 2.43 w/Pittsburgh) takes on Alec Asher (1-0, 0.00) Super Nova has been a man on a mission in his last four games, attacking the strike zone instead of pitching scared.The kicker is that three of those four games have been in the spacious grounds of PNC Park; Citizens is more like the AL East bandboxes that treated Nova so rudely earlier in the year. Hopefully, Ivan doesn't try to compensate. Asher was whacked with an 80 game PED suspension earlier in the year, though he swears he was clean - who knows, MLB is its own judge and jury. At any rate, he's back and in his last outing spun six strong innings against the Nats to notch his first win in the show. He had a bumpy rookie campaign in 2015, but picked up a two-seam sinker as his go-to pitch in the off season, and the new tool seems to be working.
|Ivan Nova looks to extend his winning ways tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
- C Jacob Stallings was called up; that's four catchers on the roster. We suppose he got the nod because of his familiarity with all the Indy arms now on the roster. He's not on the 40-man, so we're guessing J-Hay will be placed on the DL.
- Jung Ho Kang has had six multi-hit games in the last eight contests he's started.
- It might surprise ya: The Bucs are 69-73 and the Phils are 64-80, six games behind Pittsburgh, or almost the same spread (5-1/2 games) that exists between the Pirates and the Cardinals.