Lineup: Adam Frazier 2B, Josh Harrison 3B, Cutch CF, Josh Bell 1B, John Jaso LF, Gregory Polanco RF, Fran Cervelli C, Jordy Mercer SS & Trevor Williams. The line up came out just an hour before game time; we wonder (and it's purely speculative) if Freeser's leg was an issue?
|Trevor's looking for a W (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Pitchers: Trevor Williams (3-3, 4.67) kicks it off against Eddie Butler (4-3, 4.18). Williams allowed two runs in six innings with a no decision in his last start in Sunday’s 5-3 loss to San Francisco. He's gone 2-1/3.81 in his last 10 starts and has slowly been lengthening his outings, going six innings or better in his last three outings. He still needs to develop an approach for the third and fourth trips through an opponents lineup. Though he's been twirling solid ball, he hasn't gotten much bat/bullpen support as the Pirates have lost the last four games he's started. He's 1-0/4.50 ERA in three career appearances (all this year) v Chi-town, giving up three runs in five frames during his only start against them. Butler has kinda sputtered along, effective some days and no so much on others. He doesn't go deep; he's made it through six innings just once this year, and that was his first start in April. Butler is 26 and has a pedigree not unlike many young Bucco pitchers - he's a former first-rounder with a four-pitch mix but with only 38 MLB starts, so he's still green. He's beaten the Bucs this year, but not through any fault of his own, giving up four runs in 5-2/3 IP during a 9-5 Cubbie win.
- Juan Nicasio is out today to catch a blow after working three straight games.
- Last night J-Bell hit his 16th home run of the season, passing Ralph Kiner (15 in 1946) for the most by a Pirates rookie before the break. Bell already holds the rookie extra-base record for that span.
- The Cubs haven't been exactly killin' it in defense of their crown. They're 42-43, 4-1/2 games behind the Brew Crew, 4-6 in their last 10 and discovering the only thing tougher than winning a title is defending it. However, they do have the best home record, albeit 23-18, in the division. That didn't help them in April when the Pirates swept them at Wrigley, tho Chi-town has claimed two PNC series; Pittsburgh is 5-4 v Chicago so far this season.
- A couple of potentially big series commence right after the AS break - the Pirates will host St. Louis next weekend for three games, then take on Milwaukee for four games at PNC Park.
|Steven Brault - no more Mr. Nibbles (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
- Adam Berry of MLB.com writes that LHP Steven Brault took off at Indy once he decided not be a "Mr. Nibbles."
- Tyler Glasnow is 3-0/1.84 in five starts at Indy. He's struck out 30 and walked seven in his last three outings (18-1/3 IP), but only made it through the sixth once in that span.