Lineup: Adam Frazier LF, John Jaso RF, Cutch CF, David Freese 3B, Josh Bell 1B, Fran Cervelli C, Jordy Mercer SS, Gift Ngoepe 2B and Gerrit Cole P. And why, you may ask, is J-Hay sitting instead of playing RF? Because it's his scheduled day off. JJ moved from cleanup to second; Clint said he moves him around to keep the lineup from getting too shaken up. Might be a little late for that; the only slots in the batting order that haven't had at least five different players are 3-4 with Cutch and Gregory.
|Gift gets the shot a 2B as J-Hay gets a blow (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
Pitchers: Gerrit Cole (1-4, 3.06) takes on Jacob Turner (2-1, 3.31). Can't ask much more of Cole Train this year. He's posted a 2.08 ERA over his last six starts without giving up more than two earned runs in that span and has gone at least six innings. But Gerrit has gotten one run or none in five of his eight starts and has the lowest run support of any starter in the NL. Gerrit is 2-1/2.92 lifetime against the Nats, facing them like clockwork once a year since 2013. They chased him last season, 6-0, in his first start after a five week layoff. Turner was called from the pen for a spot start as the Nats are an arm short thanks to a Sunday twin bill. Turner, who has started more than relieved (54 starts, 32 pen appearances) in his career, was the logical choice even for Dusty Baker. He's had seven outings this season, but just one of those was a start back on April 24th. Since then, he has pitched more than two innings just once, so the Bucs may get into the Nat bullpen early tonight with a little discipline. Turner has seen the Pirates once and was hit pretty hard, but that was in 2014, so there's not much relevant history to work with.
- The Pirates have placed Gregory Polanco on the 10-day DL, retro to 5/15, and recalled Danny Ortiz from Indy. That keeps the 25-man roster balanced with two true outfielders, Danny and Cutch. It should be noted that Fraze is -1 DRS in left; he has a chance to become a capable OF'er before Starling returns.
- Another log added to the hot stove fire: Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports notes that "The Pirates...have two pitchers who intrigue the Astros, sources say – right-hander Gerrit Cole, who is under control through 2019, and left-handed closer Tony Watson, who is a free agent at the end of the season."