Thursday, May 25, 2017

Thursday: Pittsburgh-Atlanta Finale, Nova v Bartolo Colon, Lineup, Notes (El Coffee Back)

Today: It's getaway day in Atlanta with the first pitch due at 12:10. The game will be broadcast by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

Lineup: Adam Frazier CF, Josh Harrison LF, Josh Bell 1B, David Freese 3B, Fran Cervelli C, Jose Osuna RF, Jordy Mercer SS, Gift Ngoepe 2B & Ivan Nova P. When's the last time that Cutch and Gregory (just returning from the DL) were both healthy scratches?

Ivan on the bump (graphic Positively Pittsburgh)

Pitchers: Ivan Nova (4-3, 2.63) closes the season series against Atlanta today against Bartolo Col√≥n (2-4, 6.28). Since May, Ivan has been tossing to a 4+ ERA and has fit the mold of a "quality start" guy instead of Super Nova, although on the positive side of the ledger he still doesn't walk anyone and has kept his ground ball rate at 50%. Atlanta may help get him back on track. When he faced them in April, he worked six innings of six-hit ball, giving up an unearned run. His only other outing against the Bravos was in 2012, and he was equally strong then. Big Sexy has had a rough row to hoe this year and has gotten into the sixth frame just once in his past five starts. But he loves beating on the Bucs - in nine career starts, he's 5-2/1.94 with a 1.05 WHIP.  He hasn't seen the Allegheny nine this season, but in two starts in 2015-16, he held them to three earned runs on 12 hits in 14-2/3 IP.

Jose rewarded with the start today (graphic Pittsburgh Pirates)

Notes:
  • Gregory Polanco has been cleared from the DL and Danny Ortiz was optioned back to Indy.
  • J-Hay has a six-game hitting streak and is batting .293 on the campaign.
  • The Pirates seven-run 10th inning last night was their biggest extra-inning outburst since May 25, 2007 when the club scored eight times against the Reds at GABP in a 10-4 win. 
  • Last night was the first time the Pirates hit three consecutive home runs in one inning since September 13th, 2013, against the Cubs (Pedro Alvarez, Russell Martin & Garrett Jones) at PNC Park in a 5-4 loss. It was only the third time in MLB history that a team hit three consecutive homers in extra innings.
  • As for Fraze's on-base magic, he was the first Pirates leadoff man since Tony Womack (4-for-4, two walks, four stolen bases) on September 6th, 1997, to reach base six times in a 13-4 win against the Reds at Cinergy Field. (thx to @theaceofspaeder )
  • The Pirates are 21-26, tied for the worst 47-game start of the Clint Hurdle era. But there is a bright side; the other year the Bucs started out of the gate that slowly was 2014, when they took a wild card spot with an eventual 88-74 record.
  • After Atlanta reliever Jeff Collmenter was tapped for seven runs last night, the Braves DFA'ed him today.

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