Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday: Cards v Bucs Open Second Half; Cole Train v Mike Leake, Lineup, Notes

Tonight: St. Louis comes to town with first pitch at 7:05. The game will be on AT&T Sportsnet (formerly Root Sports) and 93.7 The Fan. The Pirates took 2-of-3 in their June meeting with the Redbirds after being losing three in April by identical 2-1 scores, with both sets played at Busch Stadium.

Lineup: Adam Frazier LF, Josh Harrison 2B, Cutch CF, Josh Bell 1B, David Freese 3B, Gregory Polanco RF, Fran Cervelli C, Jordy Mercer SS & Gerrit Cole P. Everyone's rested and ready to roll.

Cole Train kicks off the second half (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Pitchers: Gerrit Cole (7-7, 4.43) takes on Mike Leake (6-7, 3.12). Cole Train has gone 4-1 with a 3.45 ERA over his last five starts, but has been a roller-coaster ride this year. He's 6-4/2.72 in 12 career regular season starts against the Redbirds. Gerrit is 1-1 in two outings v SL this year, winning a 7-3 June decision over Lance Lynn and losing a 2-1 duel to Michael Wacha in April, both at Busch Stadium. Leake doesn't have an appreciable split, but he does pitch better on the road. The righty had a strong April and most of May, but in his last eight starts has gone 3-5/4.66. He's beaten the Bucs twice this year, 2-1 & 8-4, and knows the team pretty well; he's made 30 starts already against the Pirates, the most of any team he's faced, slashing 10-5/3.33.

  • J-Bell has a five-game hitting streak; Gregory's eight-game string was snapped Sunday.
  • Jose Osuna took some balls at third, a spot he's never played in his pro career. A look doesn't hurt; he's got the arm, but the agility may be another matter...
  • The Bucs altered their rotation a bit by flipping Jamo and Chad Kuhl. JT will go tomorrow and Chad against the Brew Crew on Monday.
  • Antonio Bastardo cleared waivers and was released by the Pirates.
  • Starling Marte has gone 8-for-32 (.250) with a home run, three RBI, two walks, nine whiffs and four stolen bases during his minor league warm-up.
  • Vince Castrovince of Sports on Earth has a predictions column, and believes that the Brew Crew may be the real deal. He adds that "Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole will both stay put in Pittsburgh, because there will be too much position-player stock available to justify the Pirates' asking price on Cutch and there's too little incentive for the Pirates to punt on Cole at this particular juncture."
Josh is going back to the KBO (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • RHP Josh Lindblom was released by the Bucs so that he can return to Korea to pitch. He tossed for the Lotte Giants in the KBO from 2015-16 before signing with Pittsburgh this year and is returning to them.
  • BTW, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Cubs weren't just zeroed in on Jose Quintana. They also asked about Gerrit Cole ("the pricetag was too enormous"), the Detroit Tigers Michael Fulmer and Chris Archer of the Tampa Bay Rays. It's thought that they still have interest in adding another arm and Oakland's Sonny Gray (team control though 2019) has provided some smoke for that fire.

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