Thursday, July 6, 2017

Thursday: Bucs-Phils Finale, Kuhl v Jeremy Hellickson, Lineup, Notes

Tonight: The Bucs close out the four-game set at 6:05 PM. The game will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan. The Phillies haven't taken a series from the Pirates since July of 2011 but have split four-game sets three times, which is what they're shooting for tonight.

Lineup: Josh Harrison 2B, Jose Osuna LF, Cutch CF, Josh Bell 1B, David Freese 3B, Gregory Polanco RF, Elias Diaz C, Max Moroff SS and Chad Kuhl P. And no, we have no idea why Jordy's off.

It's homecoming for Chad (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Pitchers: Chad Kuhl (2-6, 5.26) finishes off the Philly series against Jeremy Hellickson (5-5, 4.48). Cool Chad tossed one of his better games of the season in his last outing, but got no decision in a 2-1, 11-inning loss Saturday to San Francisco. It was a start that he can build on, giving up just two hits in six frames. Chad is 1-0/1.64 in two career starts against the Phils. He had a no-decision earlier in the year against them, allowing one hit in five scoreless innings in a 1-0 win at PNC Park. Fun factoid: Kuhl is a Delaware native and should have a rooting section of fam and friends at the yard tonight. After a hot April, Hellickson has been all over the board, spinning some nice starts and getting splattered in others. He's another pitch-to-contact guy, averaging fewer than five fans per game, far and away a career low. Jeremy has a reverse split, but OPS+ is about the same either way, and he doesn't have a noticeable bump by pitching at home. He has been coming around, though, with four dtrong starts in his last five appearances.

  • Gregory has hit safely in five straight games and in seven of his last eight contests
  • J-Hay broke out of his five-game slump (hopefully) with a ninth-inning single yesterday, snapping an 0-for-21 string with six whiffs in 20 PA.
  • Fab Felipe: Rivero has allowed an earned run in just four of his first 43 appearances and been scored upon twice in his last 23 games. Three of his five saves with the Pirates have been four outs or longer.
  • Grey Papke of Larry Brown Sports thinks the Pirates should be in sale mode. He posts "They can keep or trade Cole and focus on building around the likes of Jameson Taillon, Josh Bell, and their other young pieces. That would be the smart thing to do, and moving some veterans could facilitate a quick return to the playoffs if they do it right."

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