Lineup: Adam Frazier LF, Josh Harrison 2B, Cutch CF, John Jaso RF, David Freese 3B, Josh Bell 1B, Fran Cervelli, Jordy Mercer and Chad Kuhl. Gregory's hammy is still bothering him. Jaso is the next man up in the OF, but we're not sure that JJ is the answer at cleanup. We'll see if the skipper's gut led him on the right path tonight as apparently Clint loves to alternate his lefty-righty order.
|Todays cleanup hitter is John Jaso (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Pitchers: Chad Kuhl (1-3, 5.81) starts the series against Stephen Strasburg (3-1, 3.28). The 24-year-old Kuhl will be making his eighth start of the season, and though he's been a little erratic, he's allowed two earned runs or less in five of his first seven outings. That is a little deceptive, though, as two recent trips to the hill have been short affairs, one because of a liner to the knee and the other short-circuited by rain, so he should be strong. Kuhl faced the Nats once last season and tossed six shutout frames in an eventual 2-1, 18-inning Bucco win. The Nat's big guy has been dependable as a Rolex, giving up three or fewer runs in six of his seven starts and going seven innings five times. He's 3-2/2.51 against the Pirates in six career starts with 60 K in 43 IP, holding Bucco batters to a .179 BA. Strasburg beat Pittsburgh 6-1 last year, giving up a run on three hits and tossing for eight innings.
|Cool Chad opens the home stand (image Pittsburgh Pirates)|
- Fraze is batting .350 w/a .422 OBP as a leadoff hitter.
- The Pirates went 2-4 against Washington last year, dropping 2-of-3 both home and away.
- Bradenton Marauder SS Cole Tucker was named the Florida State League Hitter-of-the-Week after batting .435 (10-for-23).
- 18-year-old RHP Haicheng Gong from Shanghai, China was inked by the Pirates & scout Roger Chiang as the Pirates continue to poke around the dusty nooks and crannies of the international market. He pitched for the Chinese U18 international team and features a fastball that's reported to be mid-eighties-to-90 MPH; there's not a lot of info available on him.