Lineup: Adam Frazier LF, Josh Harrison 2B, Cutch CF, Josh Bell 1B, David Freese 3B, Gregory Polanco RF, Fran Cervelli C, Jordy Mercer SS and Jameson Taillon P. Worked last night...good to see Cervy & Freeser get back-to-back starts before the Sunday lineup rears its head.
|Jamo on the bump tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Pitchers: Jameson Taillon (5-2, 2.73) takes on Lance Lynn (7-6, 3.61). Jamo will be well rested after missing his last start due to food poisoning. His last outing was against Philly on the Fourth of July when he tossed five zeroes and whiffed nine in a 3-0 win, running his scoreless streak to 15-1/3 frames. He's gone 3-1/1.98 in his five starts since returning from DL, although his WHIP of 1.343 shows how well he's shaken off the raindrops by posting a nearly 84% strand rate, which is due to regress. One thing that hasn't regressed is his hook; it's become his punch-out and go-to pitch, with a nasty factor off the charts. JT is 0-0/4.09 ERA in two career starts v SL. He's faced them once this year, getting a no decision (six IP, three ER) against Adam Wainwright at Busch Stadium in Pittsburgh’s 4-3 June win. After four rough starts, Lance spun a seven-inning, three-hit zippo against the Mets in his last outing. He's pitched much better at home and has a big R/L split, so that may come into play tonight. Lynn has a career 6-6/4.76 slash in 19 career starts v the Bucs and is 1-1/4.97 ERA in 2 starts this season. He took the loss in his last Pirates outing, allowing all seven runs over 5-2/3 IP in a 7-3 loss at Busch Stadium in June, but tossed seven frames of three-hit, shutout ball in April, winning 2-1.
- Hot fun in the summertime: Josh Bell has hit safely in six straight games, going 11-for-26 (.423) with three straight multi-hit efforts. He's hit safely in 10 of his last 12 games (15-for-48, .313) while chasing home scores in nine of those 12 contests.
|Josh is heating up with the weather (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
- Yesterday, Bell became the first Pirates rookie to drill a walkoff homer since Pedro Alvarez did it against the Rox on on August 7th, 2010. It was a 10th inning, three-run blast that answered Todd Helton's two-run shot earlier in the frame in a wild and wooly finish. (thx @joe_block)
- Gregory Polanco went 2-for-4 last night and has now hit safely in all nine of his starts (he broke the streak as a late-inning sub) this month (15-for-35, .429). He's hit safely 11 of his last 13 games overall (17-for-45, .378) and has raised his season average 24 points from .237 on June 20th to .261 today.
- Poppin' the pill: The Pirates have recorded a 2.70 ERA in July. Pittsburgh’s bullpen ranks third in the NL in ERA (2.08) this month while the starters are tied for fifth (3.09).
- The Bucs have won 6-of-7 since that ugly sweeping by the Giants to move to 43-47. They're still seven games behind the Brewers in the Central and eight games out of the second NL Wild Card spot.
- Stephen Piscotty, who left after pulling up lame last night, was placed on the DL with a groin sprain.
- Hmmm...the Brewers just signer Jeanmar Gomez to a minor-league deal; their bullpen is already stocked with Bucco connections Jared Hughes, Rob Scahill and Tyler Webb.