Lineup: Adam Frazier LF, Josh Harrison 3B, Cutch CF, Gregory Polanco RF, Josh Bell 1B, Fran Cervelli C, Jordy Mercer SS, Gift Ngoepe 2B and Ivan Nova P. Kinda odd that Freeser is off against a lefty (.300 v LHP); maybe his hammy needs a little break-in period after his stretch on the DL. Looks like Fraze is gonna get to see some lefties; he lights up the same-siders at a .364 clip after compiling a reverse split last year, so there's no reason to rubber stamp him as a platoon guy at this point.
|Fraze may be in the running to become an everyday player|
(photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
Pitchers: Ivan Nova (3-3, 2.23) dots the I on the Arizona set against Robbie Ray (2-3, 4.14 ). Ivan has been more workmanlike than dazzling in his last two starts but has still been a model of consistency on the hill. Ivan has faced the Snakes once, winning 4-2 back in 2013. The series will finish with another southpaw for the Bucs to solve in Ray, who is fourth in the NL with strikeouts (57 in 41-1/3 IP). He's been a little erratic in results and hasn't gotten into the seventh inning yet as Ray is also a bit of a wild child. Robbie averages five walks per nine and piles up 100 pitches by the fifth or sixth frame as a rule, so discipline is a plus when facing him. In three starts against the Pirates, he's 02-/7.71, so history is on Pittsburgh's side this afternoon.
- Ivan Nova ranks second in the NL with a 2.23 ERA,and has been charged with two earned runs or less in five of his first seven starts while pitching at least six innings in all seven outings.
- The Pirates had lost seven straight away games before last night's win. It was the club’s longest road skid since losing 10 in a row in 2012.
- After 17 games in a row, the club’s only off day for the month is tomorrow. The Bucs then play 16 straight games to close out May. But there will be lots of home cooking this time; except for a four-gamer at Atlanta, the rest of the merry month's contests are at PNC Park