Lineup: Starling Marte LF, Josh Harrison 2B, Cutch CF, David Freese 3B, Josh Bell 1B, Jose Osuna RF, Fran Cervelli C, Jordy Mercer SS & Ivan Nova P. Not your average Sunday lineup; Clint is playing for real today.
|Ivan goes in today's rubber match (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Pitchers: Ivan Nova (10-6, 3.27) goes for the series win against Kyle Freeland (9-7, 3.67) The 30-year-old's last start was a 4-3 win over the Brewers at PNC Park Tuesday. He's won back-to-back starts and five of his last seven decisions although he's been sputtering a bit with a 3.97 ERA in his last 14 outings. Even so, he keeps the club in his games, pitching six frames or more innings in 18 of his first 19 starts and allowing more than three earned runs in just four of his first 19 games. Ivan has a history against the Rox, and it ain't good. He's 0-2/8.40 ERA in three career starts, all with the Yankees. Hopefully he'll get a fresh start in his current jersey. Lefty Freeland is having a solid rookie season. He's a little backwards with his peripherals - the lefty features a bit of a reverse split (.280/LH, .259/RH) and actually tosses better at Coors than on the road (3.23-4.12 ERA). He's coming off some R&R - he's only pitched three innings of relief since the break - like he needed it (actually, the Rox are trying to limit his innings). In his last 11-1/3 frames, he's given up one hit. The good news is that Freeland has made one start against the Pirates earlier this season and gave up five runs on nine hits in 5-2/3 innings during a 7-4 Bucco win.
- Cutch has reached base safely in eight of his last 10 plate appearances and has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games.
- The Pirates have won nine of their last 11 games played in Colorado, dating back to 7/27/14.
- Hate to hear it - Cup-of-coffee Bucco Michael Morse may be facing retirement because of a concussion he suffered after a nasty collision.