Lineup: Adam Frazier 3B, Starling Marte CF, Cutch RF, Gregory Polanco LF, Josh Bell 1B, Jordy Mercer SS, Phil Gosselin 2B, Stew C & Gerrit Cole P. Freeser must still be a bit sore and Fran's getting the day-following-night game break. It's not the strongest lineup to throw at Teheran, but on any given Sunday...
|Josh is back in the lineup today in the five-hole (photo Butch Dill/USAT)|
Pitchers: Gerrit Cole will try to stay on course today after working mostly beautiful ball against the Bosox before letting it all get away in a heartbeat. Cole Train has rolled against the Bravos - he's 3-0/1.73 with 25 K/26 IP in four Braves outings. Julio Teheran is Atlanta's #1. He's been an All-Star twice in the past three seasons, and tho he only had seven wins in 30 starts to show for 2016, he tossed to a 3.21 ERA. Teheran is 3-1 in six starts against the Pirates with a 3.51 ERA, so he's been solid but generally not overwhelming against the hometown nine. It's an early meeting of the two teams' aces.
- A victory this afternoon would give the Pirates their first three-game sweep of the Braves in Pittsburgh since 1994.
- The Bucs have turned nine DPs in the first four games of the season. Only the Mariners (11) and Phillies (10) have more twin-killings so far in 2017.
|Who ya gonna call...? (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
- Busy dude: Tony Watson has gone 17-for-20 in save opportunities since taking over the closer role last year on 8/2/16. He's been in the saddle a lot for the Bucs - since the 2012 campaign, Watson has made the most appearances among relief pitchers in the NL with 363 outings and the second-most in the MLB behind Cleveland's Bryan Shaw (366).
- The Pirates average 25-man roster age is 28.2 years-old per Statista. That's younger than the Cubs (28.9) and Cards (28.8) but older than the rebuilding Brewers (27.7) or Reds (26.4), the youngest squad in baseball. The Bucs are 20th in age overall.
- Pittsburgh's 2-2 records puts them in the middle of the NL Central, 1/2 game behind the Cubs and Reds.