Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wednesday: Windy City Finale, Glasnow v Jon Lester, Lineup, Notes

Tonight: It's a 7:05 contest at PNC Park. The game will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan. Should be a beautiful night to catch the Buccos, especially since they'll be gone for 14 of the next 17 games.

Most Buc bats may have gone quiet but Cutch has found some thunder in his.
(photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Jordy Mercer SS, Cutch CF, Gregory Polanco RF, Fran cervelli C, Jose Osuna RF, J-Bell 1B, Phil Gooselin 2B and Tyler Glasnow P. Freeser is still out with a sore hammy while Goose gets the nod over Alen Hanson for the start at second. We're a little surprised, as with Fraze and Freeser out, this would be a perfect time to throw Hanson into the fire and see what he's got.

Pitchers: Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 7.94) goes against Jon Lester (0-0, 2.66). Ty is learning on the fly and Chicago becomes the first team that he's seen twice in the majors. He went against Jake Arrieta earlier in the month and received a no-decision in Pittsburgh’s 8-7 win at Wrigley Field. He had a start to forget and trailed 4-0 after one inning but straightened out to strike out seven. Yep, another lefty in Lester, and he was tough on the Pirates in his first outing, getting a no-decision after going seven innings of scoreless, three-hit ball at Wrigley. No surprise there; tho he's just 4-3 in nine starts against the Bucs, he has a sterling 2.35 ERA and averages almost a K per inning.

Gift is in the show (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • IF Mpho' Gift Ngoepe was called up today. He had a hot spring, but is hitting .241 with a 33% K rate at Indy so far this season. Still, the 27-year-old can field with anyone in the Pirates system and runs pretty well, plus he's a great story line, becoming the first MLB African-born player. 
  • Gift Ngoepe cost the first native-born MLB Lithuanian his job for the time being as Dovydas Neverauskas was optioned back to the minors. That puts the bullpen and bench back at regular strength. It's also glad tidings in that Freeser wasn't put on the DL to make space for Ngoepe, so maybe David will be ready to go against the Fish Friday.
  • Andrew McCutchen has reached base safely in 15 straight games and J-Bell has a 10-game string.
  • Cutch drew his 621st career walk last night, tying him with Roberto Clemente for 10th place on Pittsburgh’s all-time free pass list. Andrew is four shy of catching Elbie Fletcher, who ranks ninth in franchise history with 625 walks.
  • Ripley stuff: The Pirates are winless (0-11) in games played from Monday-to-Thursday but are 8-1 from Friday-to-Sunday, giving the phrase weekend warriors a whole new twist.
  • Busy Bucs: The Pirates are off tomorrow before starting a stretch of 17 straight games (14 on the road!) Pittsburgh gets the next day off and then embarks on another string of 16 consecutive games (12 at PNC Park).

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