Lineup: Adam Frazier LF, Josh Harrison 2B, Gregory Polanco RF, David Freese 3B, Josh Bell 1B, Cutch CF, Fran Cervelli C, Jordy Mercer SS & Trevor Williams P. Clint's got the big-boy lineup penciled in to take on the Cubbies.
|Trevor tries to bounce back and tame the Cubc tonight (photo Joe Guzy/Pirates)|
Pitchers: Trevor Williams (3-3, 5.13) starts the set against Eddie Butler (3-2, 4.03) The 25-year-old Williams will be making his eighth start of the season. He's gone 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in his last six starts; he strung together five straight solid outings before being bopped in a no-decision against the Fish last time out. He's 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in two relief appearances against da Cubbies made earlier this year with one good and one yucky outing. The 26-year-old Butler has found life much more to his liking away from his old stomping grounds at Mile High. He's been mostly solid for the Cubs, but doesn't do the bullpen any favors - he's made it through the sixth inning just once this year, and that was his opening outing six starts ago. He features the standard four-pitch mix of fastball (95-96 MPH), slider, curve, & change-up and is tough on righties He main issue is command; he didn't show a lot of it early in the season. He's cut the walks down in his past couple of outings with mixed results. Eddie's never crossed swords with Pittsburgh.
- Chicago is 32-33, trailing the Brewers by two games and are 2-1/2 games up on the Pirates. The teams have been road warriors against one another so far this year - in two April sets, the Bucs swept the Lake Michigan nine at Wrigley but lost 2-of-3 at PNC Park. Chicago has been good here: they're 15-8 in PNC Park since the beginning of 2015.
- Cutch has a six-game hitting streak, taking the team lead after J-Hay's 10-gamer came to an end on Wednesday.
|Andrew has been flyin' around since dropping into the six hole (photo Shelley Lipton/Pirates)|
- If the Bucs want to close the NL Central gap some, this is a good time to heat up - after the Cub set, the team travels to Milwaukee for a four-gamer against the division-leading Brewers and then visit the Cards for three. A string of series wins would make things interesting, and of course the flip side of a string of series losses would add some grease to the skids.
- Tyler Glasnow's first Indy line from yesterday looks pretty much like every AAA line he's ever had: six IP, one run, two hits, four walks, eight K.
- The Mets placed Neil Walker on 10-day DL with a partial tear of left hamstring. He's expected to be out for several weeks with the injury.