Lineup: Starling Marte LF, Josh Harrison 2B, Cutch CF, David Freese 3B, Josh Bell 1B, Jose Osuna RF, Fran Vervelli C, Jordy Mercer SS & Jamison Taillon P.
|Jamo goes tonight (image Positively Pittsburgh)|
Pitchers: Jameson Taillon (6-3, 3.08) goes against Madison Bumgarner (0-4, 3.57). In 13 starts, Jamo leads the rotation in ERA (3.08), x FIP (3.48), strikeout rate (23.2%/8.9 per 9 IP), strand rate (80%), fewest home runs per nine (0.62) and WAR (1.7). He has his warts, too: game length (he's gotten an out in the seventh just three times in 13 starts; eight outings haven't made it through the sixth), a so-so walk rate (7.7%/three per 9 IP) and high BABIP (.343, leading to a 1.370 WHIP). Still, it's pretty safe to say he's not just the Pirates ace-in-the-making, but their ace, end of convo. JT hasn't tossed against SF this year. He was touched for three runs in six IP in his only 2016 appearance, getting a no-decision in a 4-3 Bucco win. Mad Bum has made just six starts this season due to an April dirt bike rollover. He's tossed twice since then and gotten beaten up fairly well, giving up seven runs in 13-1/3 innings with four dingers. But it's just a matter of him getting in the work and chipping off the rust; hopefully the Bucs are catching him still in shake-down mode. Bumgarner is 2-4/2.97 in six lifetime starts against Pittsburgh. His last outing v the Bucs was in 2016 when he lost to Jeff Locke and the bullpen 1-0.
|Cutch is on the oWAR short list (photo Pirates promo)|
- Freeser has a six-game hitting streak entering tonight.
- The Pirates have won seven straight contests at AT&T Park.
- Cervy has started 13 of the last 14 games and has hit safely in seven of his last nine games, going 14-for-34 (.412) with five multi-hit outings.
- The Bucs have taken each of their last 11 games when scoring at least four runs and have gone 17-2 in their last 19 when plating four or more.
- Starling as gone 8-for-19 with six runs scored, three RBI and four stolen bases while hitting leadoff in the first four games of the road trip.
- Through age-30, only eight other center fielders in MLB history have amassed more oWAR (46.5) than Cutch - Mickey Mantle, Tris Speaker, Ken Griffey, Willie Mays, Duke Snider, Mike Trout, Vada Pinson and Cesar Cedeno. That's some pretty fast company.
- John Sickels of Minor League Ball posted a quick profile of Stephen Brault.
- Ben Martens of Beyond the Box Score examines if the Bucs surge is for real.
- Zach Duke is back from off-season TJ surgery and has reclaimed his spot as the Cardinals' LOOGY.