Thursday, June 29, 2017

Thursday: Pirates-Rays Rubber Match, JT v Chris Archer, Lineup, Notes

Tonight: It's the rubber match between the Rays and Pirates, starting at 7:05 PM at PNC Park. It will be carried on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan. It's Game of Thrones night with the first 1,000 fans getting a GOT glass.

Lineup: Adam Frazier 2B, Josh Harrison 3B, Cutch CF, Josh Bell 1B, John Jaso LF, Gregory Polanco RF, Jordy Mercer SS, Stew C & Jameson Taillon P. Archer has a 50-point lefty/righty split, so Clint is loading up as much as possible.

Jamo storms the hill on Military Night (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Pitchers: Jameson Taillon (3-2, 3.33) will try to take the series winner against Chris Archer (6-4, 3.97) in a pretty solid match. Jamo has gone 1-1, 3.38 in three starts since returning from DL, going 16 IP and giving up six runs on 17 hits with five walks and 16 K, pretty good but still not quite where he'd like to be with his command. He's never faced the Rays. Chris Archer is a workhorse, going at least six frames in 13 of his 16 starts and is kinda the Rays version of Ivan Nova in consistency. Archer doesn't have an appreciable home/away split, and he's tough on RH hitters (.210 BA). He's met the Bucs just once back  in 2014, giving up four runs in seven innings.

  • J-Bell is the fourth Pirate switch-hitter to hit 15 or more home runs in a season, joining Bobby Bonilla (five times), Neil Walker (three times) and Ryan Doumit (once). Josh gone long 10 times batting lefty and five times from the right side of the plate.
  • Indy's LHP Steven Brault (6-3, 2.24), IF Chris Bostick (.288) and RHP Drew Hutchison (4-3, 3.31) were selected as International League All-Stars
  • RHP Luis Escobar, 21, is the Pirates rep for the All-Star Futures Game and will be a member of the World roster. He's a Top-15 Pirates prospect with a slash of 6-3/4.77 and 97 strikeouts in 71-2/3 IP for the Class A West Virginia Power.

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