Thursday, May 11, 2017

Bucs & D-Backs, Cole v Zack Greinke, Lineup, Notes

Tonight: The Bucs open a four-gamer with Arizona in Phoenix at Chase Field with opening pitch at 9:40. The game will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

Lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Fran Cervelli C, Cutch CF, Gregory Polanco RF, John Jaso 1B, Jose Osuna LF, Jordy Mercer SS, Gift Ngoepe 2B & Gerrit Cole P. J-Bell and his icy bat get a day off, second base remains a no-man's land and another day, another lineup.

And tonight's musical chairs winner is Gift... (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Pitchers: Gerrit Cole (1-3, 3.14) kicks it off against Zack Greinke (3-2, 3.09). Gerrit has been tossing some impressive ball lately (his ERA in the past five games has been 1.97) but the club can't score for him. He's received one run (or none) in four of his seven outings. Cole Train is 2-1/2.49 ERA in four career games against the Snakes with a no-decision in his only 2016 start (one unearned run in five frames). The Zackster has also been pretty strong so far in 2017. He's given up two or fewer runs in five of his seven outings and surrendered more than three runs just once. Greinke is 6-3/5.04 v the Bucs in 10 career starts, but didn't face them last year. He's seen the Pirates just twice since 2014.

  • The Bucs won two of their three games played at Chase Field last season and are 9-4 in the Valley of the Sun since the start of the 2013 season, winning five of their last six games. The Snakes are 19-16, three games out of first in the West.
  • Pittsburgh has scored 18 runs in their past eight games following a 12-run outburst v Cincinnati. They scored just six times with 14 hits in the three-game LA series. 
  • The Cards have won six-in-a-row to take over the NL Central lead; the Pirates have dropped six games back in the loss column and are the only sub-.500 club in the division.
Austin still tops the list 2015 Bowman
  • Baseball America has its updated Top 100 Prospects list up; three Pirate pups are on it - OF Austin Meadows, P Mitch Keller and SS Kevin Newman. They're all in the top 50.
  • Fraze is still rehabbing; he's batting leadoff for Indy tonight.
  • RHP prospect Nick Kingham is making his 2017 debut for Bradenton today; he sprained his ankle badly in the last week of camp after missing two seasons following TJ surgery.
  • The Reds brought up Lisalverto Bonilla from AAA Louisville. The 26-year-old righty was signed as depth by the Bucs in November, then released and claimed by Cincinnati in February. He's put up bad numbers this year as a kid with a live arm but bad aim.
  • C Russ Martin of the Jays went on the 10-day DL with nerve inflammation of his left shoulder, a condition that's been plaguing him since the start of the season. Toronto also placed Frankie Liriano on the DL with an inflamed shoulder. Bad day up north for old Buccos and their wings.
  • Tigers manager Brad Ausmus has replaced closer Francisco Rodriguez with ex-Pirate Justin Wilson, who has put up a 1.23 ERA with 23 K in 14-2/3 IP.

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