Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday: Giants Roll Into Town, Cole v Johnny Cueto, Lineup, Notes

Tonight: The Giants visit PNC Park with the game beginning at 7:05 PM. The action will be carried by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan. It's a Zambelli Fireworks night at the yard if the weather cooperates tonight. If there was ever a time to make hay, this week would be it. The Bucs' next seven games are against Giants (30-51) and Phillies (26-51), the two worst teams by record in baseball.

Lineup: Adam Frazier 2B, Josh Harrison 3B, Cutch CF, J-Bell 1B, John Jaso LF, Gregory Polanco RF, Jordy Mercer SS, Stew C & Gerrit Cole P.The lineup leaves a hole or two in the defense, but it's pretty solid with sticks.

Gerrit takes on Bucco nemesis Johnny Cueto (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Pitchers: Gerrit Cole (6-6, 4.11) takes on old rival Johnny Cueto (5-7, 4.20). As bad as he was during his four-game May Day slide, that's how good he's been in his last three outings. He's won all three, giving up three runs (one per game) in 20 IP on 11 hits. Cole Train has been quite good v the Giants. He's 3-0/1.59 in four career starts against them, with the caveat that he hasn't faced the G-Men since 2015 when he beat Ryan Vogelsong. Cueto has been a bit up-and-down for SF, but he's put together back-to-back strong outings, giving up three runs on 10 hits in 14 IP. His peripherals on the road are solid except for one red flag - he's been tagged for 14 long balls in 55 IP. Then again, he's 19-4/2.10 in 29 starts against the Bucs (11-2/1.88 at PNC Park) and hasn't lost a regular-season game to Pittsburgh since 2012 (2013 if you count the Cue-to wildcard game) so there's that to contend with. It should be a heck of a pitching match.

  • Cutch Daddy: Congrats
  • J-Hay was on base four times last night. He's put up a .455 OBP in his last 10 games.
  • Elias Diaz has been quite the clutch guy so far, going 9-for-20 (.450) in RISP situations this season.
  • Don't be surprised to see a little less of Freeser during the back end of the campaign. Clint said that he was playing the 34-year-old 3B too much; the plan coming into the season was to limit him to no more than three straight starts to keep him fresh during the year. 
  • This is the mid-point of the Bucco PNC schedule at game #41. So far home cooking has been not been quite so filling for the Pirates as the Bucs are just 21-19 at PNC Park. But that's looking up from last year, when Pittsburgh posted a losing slate of 38-42 along the banks of the Allegheny.
  • With Jason Rogers leaving for Japan, 23-year-old Altoona Curve OF Jordan Luplow (.287, 16 HR and recently-named Eastern League All-Star) was promoted to Indy.

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