Lineup: Starling Marte LF, Josh Harrison 2B, Cutch CF, Josh Bell 1B, David Freese 3B, John Jaso RF, Fran Cervelli C, Jordy Mercer SS & Chad Kuhl P. Little surprised JJ got the call to replace Gregory over Fraze; too bad that lineup churn is back after a brief period with all hands all deck.
|Chad on the bump (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Pitchers: Chad Kuhl (3-6, 4.85) takes on German Marquez (7-4, 4.34) in a rematch from June. The 24-year-old Kuhl will be making his 20th start of the season, and he's coming off a career-high seven whiff performance in his last start; a no-decision in Pittsburgh’s 4-2 win vs. Milwaukee Monday night. He's gone 2-0/3.41 ERA in his last six starts so he's coming around. One thing to watch; in his last three scheduled starts, he's gotten into or past the sixth. He's starting to get some outs; now he needs to keep building up innings. Marquez is a 22-year-old with a fastball/curve combo who has been pretty solid for the Rox. He's faced the Bucs once taking a 5-1 decision from Kuhl earlier this season at PNC Park.
- Gregory Polanco was placed on the 10-day DL with a left hammy strain. They brought up LHP Stephen Brault to fill the vacant spot. Brault's call is kinda a mystery; he's deserving but the has been pretty solid. It could be just a quick stop to check him out by eyeball and help bolster the pen in Colorado, a rough park for pitchers.
- Amore has produced four straight multi-hit games and has a six-game hitting streak going into tonight.
- J-Bell leads all NL rookies in hits (82) and walks (38) while ranking second in RBI (52), total bases (159), runs (48) and extra-base hits (39).
- Some confusing signals are being sent about J-Hay's trade status, ranging from "not available" to "high asking price." Hard to sort out the planted stories from the actual smoke during deadline season, but this might be a story line worth watching.