Lineup: Adam Frazier LF, Josh Harrison 2B, Gregory Polanco RF, David Freese 3B, Josh Bell 1B, Cutch, Jordy Mercer SS, Stew C & Jameson Taillon P. Looks like the Bucs will alternate Stew and Eli while Cervy is MIA.
|Freeser is back in the lineup (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
Pitchers: Jameson Taillon (3-2, 3.38) opens the set against Adam Wainwright (7-5, 5.75). This is JT's third start back from his cancer bout; he's still showing some rust, as is to be expected. He ducked between the raindrops against the Rox and was whacked around by the Cubs in his last outing. Jamo faced the Cards once, and that was last year (two ER, six hits in five IP), coming away with a no-decision in a 4-3 September win. Waino has been slammed on the road; his last two outings have seen him surrender 18 runs in 5-1/3 innings, blowing up his ERA by nearly two runs. But at home, he's a different beast with a slash of 5-1/2.88 in seven starts and he's given up two or fewer runs in his last four Gateway City outings. The 12-year vet is 13-7/4.22 in 33 career games (28 starts) against Pittsburgh, going 2-1/3.86 in five 2016 trips to the hill against the Buccos.
- Freeser, who got a maintenance day yesterday, is hitting .316 (18-for-57) with a home run, seven RBI and 10 runs scored in his last 16 games. He's hitting .293 in June after a brutal May when he put up a .179 BA.
- Gregory has had three multi-hit games in his last three starts; it'd really firm up the lineup if he regains his stroke.
- No Pirate has hit in the same spot in the batting order more than 45 times in the Bucs first 73 games, and that was Cutch in the three-hole. Other than him, J-Hay with 38 games in the two slot has been penciled in the most. Performance, injuries and some match-up juggling by Clint are the main culprits in the inconsistent lineup.
- The Bucs have lost their last seven games at Busch, including three (all by 2-1 scores) in a mid-April series.