|Gregory is still hors d' combat (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Lineup: Adam Frazier LF, Starling Marte CF, Cutch RF, Freeser 3B, Josh Bell 1B, Fran Cervelli C, Josh Harrison 2B, Jordy Mercer SS & Ivan Nova P. Gregory gets a seat another day; he wasn't even available off the bench yesterday (he should be today). Fran's been an ironman; we're assuming he'll get a blow on Wednesday, which is a day game. Then again, with an open date afterward...
Pitchers: Ivan Nova (1-1, 2.25) had one bad frame last outing, acerbated by a fielding misadventures; otherwise he's been money in the bank for the Buccos. He has yet to walk a batter, which has become his Bucco calling card. This will be his first trip to the hill against the Cards. Lance Lynn (0-1, 5.23) has weathered a rocky start. In two starts lasting 10 frames, he's given up three homers and five walks, still trying to find his groove after missing all of last season following TJ surgery. Lance has seen Pittsburgh plenty, and the Bucs haven't been kind to him - in 19 outings (17 starts), his slash is 5-5/4.83.
|Ivan & Fran are tonight's battery (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
- Pittsburgh posted a 5-5 record at Busch Stadium last season, losing the last four games played there after winning five of the first six. The Bucs are 8-6 in their last 14 games played in St. Louis.
- The Cards were just swept by the Yankees in Gotham. St Louis is 3-9 after a 1-5 road trip and have put together their worst 12-game start since 1988. Both clubs are looking for some defensive consistency and for their nice-on-paper bullpens to kick in during April.
- The Bucs made a depth deal today, acquiring RHP Johnny Barbato from the Yankees for a PTBNL or cash, and optioned him to Indy. The 24-year-old, who's a multi-inning guy, had been DFA'ed earlier in the week. He's compiled a solid AAA resume but was 1-2/7.62 in 13 IP for the Pinstripes last season, although he did ring up an impressive 15 K. Johnny is on the 40-man roster, which had a pair of vacancies.
- David Schoenfield of ESPN doesn't like the early signs from Cutch's 2017 performance.