Lineup: Jordy Mercer SS, Starling Marte CF, Cutch RF, David Freese 3B, Fran Cervelli C, Josh Bell 1B, Josh Harrison 2B, Adam Frazier LF & Ivan Nova P. El Coffee gets a seat against a lefty (and maybe to give his shoulder an R&R day), but is replaced by another LH hitter in Fraze. Adam is doing well with the stick but we're a little curious why Alen Hanson doesn't get a look; if he hit second and Starling moved to the five-hole, it would seem to be a stronger lineup construct. That fourth OF'er spot was never addressed by the Bucs after Matt Joyce & S-Rod were lost to free agency.
|Josh is making his seventh start at first (photo via Major League Trade Rumors)|
Pitcher: Ivan Nova (1-0, 0.00) makes his second start. He was right on track in the Home Opener against Atlanta, throwing strikes and pretty well in command after a fine spring, and his continued strong performance will go a long way toward helping carry a young rotation. Nova started v the Cincy nine three times last year, going 2-1 with a 3.79 ERA, so he's been solid but not overwhelming against the Queen City crew. Amir Garrett (1-0, 0.00) is the second lefty the Reds will throw at the Pirates. The 6'-5" 24-year-old, a former (and pretty good) hoopster from St. Johns in the Big East, was impressive in his first start, beating the Cards 2-0 while giving six hits with four whiffs in six frames, so it looks like the Redlegs have the framework to build a decent young staff for the future.
- Not all Bucco deals are lemons: in his 12 starts with the Pirates since being acquired from the Yankees, tonight's starter Ivan Nova has gone 6-2 with three complete games and a 2.80 ERA.
- Starling Marte has a six-game hitting streak. Fran & Freeser have a six-pack of consecutive games reaching base while Jordy has reached safely in five straight. Fraze has been aboard in all five games that he's started.
- Power outage: in seven games, the Pirates have hit six doubles and three homers. Josh Bell with a pair of two-baggers is the only Pirate with multiple extra-base hits.
- Reds' pitcher Rookie Davis (bruised right forearm) was placed on the 10-day DL, so JT plunked him pretty good last night.