Lineup: Starling Marte LF, Josh Harrison 2B, Cutch CF, Josh Bell 1B, David Freese 3B, Gregory Polanco RF, Fran Cervelli C, Jordy Mercer SS & Gerrit Cole P. Well, now this is the A-Team.
|Ivan Nova will take the stroll tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Pitchers: Ivan Nova (9-6, 3.21) takes on Junior Guerra (1-3, 4.78). He beat Jake Arrieta in his last outing 4-2 and has won eight of his last 12 decisions...He's pitched at least six innings in 17 of his first 18 starts and allowed more than three earned runs in just four of his first 18 starts. Ivan has quickly learned to like home cookin' - he's gone 6-2/2.63 in eight starts this season at PNC Park, Nova is 1-1/3.32 in three starts against the Brew Crew, but lost a lost a 4-2 decision to Chase Anderson in June at Miller Park in his only 2017 outing against Milwaukee. Guerra is making his 11th start of the season and second against the Pirates. He had a no-decision in June (six IP, three runs, seven hits) and is 1-0/2.16 in five career games (four starts) vs. Pittsburgh. Guerra has been off since July 7th; the Brew Crew used the All-Star break to allow him to recuperate on the DL from a bruised shin, compliments of a liner to the box, in his last start.
- Although it hasn't been announced yet, the Goose's locker is empty and his name's not on the lineup card, so looks like last in, first out for Starling's roster spot.
- Gregory is hot, batting .438 in July. Shorter swing? New spot in the order? Nah. El Coffee said this is the first time this year that's he's been playing healthy following months of nagging injuries.
- Cutch has hit safely in eight straight games and is batting .362 for July. Jordy has a six-gamer going on, too.
- With Starling's return, Fraze will return to his utility roots, playing at 2B mainly (the plan is to play J-Hay at third when Freeser's off and Fraze at 2B) with some 3B/OF/SS. The Bucs went 39-41 during Marte's absence.
- Congrats to Fraze. He was named the Pirates' Heart & Hustle Award winner by the MLB Players Alumni Association.
- BTW, the McCutchens announced they're expecting a boy.