Lineup: Adam Frazier LF, Josh Harrison 2B, John Jaso RF, David Freese 3B, Fran Cervelli C, Cutch CF, Jose Osuna 1B, Jordy Mercer SS & Chad Kuhl P. J-Bell has been pretty icy in the past 10 games and is getting a break. We are a bit surprised that Cervy is starting today after a night game instead of Elias Diaz but we're guessing that his hot bat and tomorrow's off-day both played into the decision.
|No day of rest for Amore (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Pitchers: Chad Kuhl (1-5, 6.29) v Zack Godley (1-1, 1.99). Cool Chad is getting to the point where the Bucs may plug in Steven Brault or Nick Kingham if he doesn't start to fly right. He tends to leave the ball up and badly needs a way to keep lefties at bay. They're slashing .340/.406/.660 against him, and until he masters the changeup to back them off, opposing skippers will keep stacking the lineup against him. We'll see how Chad fares today. It's the first time he's faced the Diamondbacks. Godley has been strong for the Snakes this year after replacing Shelby Miller. He's getting a lot of soft contact by mixing his four-pitch repertoire - fastball, change-up, curve and cutter - resulting in a 66% ground ball rate. Godley hasn't given up more than three runs in any of his five starts, and three have ended up with one or zero tallies. He's only face the Pirates once in a 2015 relief appearance. Quite a contrast between a pair of pups on the bump today.
- Fran has been on fire; he's on an 8-for-19 streak at the dish.
|El Coffee is close to coming back (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
- Gregory left the lineup with his ankle injury just as he was heating up. He had an eight-game hitting streak before Monday's ankle sprain (still does; he went 1-for-2 before hitting the wall). He's lost the walking boot, so he may be able to see action again during the upcoming Met series.
- The Pirates head to New York for a weekend series with the Mets. They'll leave today and have Thursday off to roam the Big Apple before starting the three-game set.
- The entire Central Division lost last night.
- Jameson Taillon will make a rehab start Friday with Indy after tossing a bullpen session at PNC Park yesterday.