Lineup: Adam Frazier LF, Josh Harrison 2B, Cutch CF, J-Bell 1B, David Freeser 3B, Gregory Polanco DH, Jordy Mercer SS, John Jaso RF, Fran Cervelli C (Jameson Taillon P). Starling gets his first day off (although Monday is an off day, sooo...) We're also a little surprised at Tom Prince (Clint is off for a couple of days) going with so many lefties; Stroman doesn't have a split to mention and in fact RHBs show more power. We prob would have played Gregory in the field, especially with Marte out; JJ could DH or swap with J-Bell. Welcome to the realm of the magnifying glass, skipper Prince!
|Jamo is hoping to get on another roll (photo MBL Pipeline)|
Pitchers: Jameson Taillon (6-5, 4.60) starts the set against Marcus Stroman (10-5, 3.17) Jamo hopefully found his mojo in his last outing, when he allowed two first-inning runs and then shut it down while striking out eight batters in 6-1/3 innings in a 5-4, 12-inning walkoff win Sunday vs. San Diego. He's never faced the Blue Jays. Jamo factoid: JT was born in Florida, but his parents are both Canadien (Jameson has dual citizenship) and he pitched for Canada in the 2013 WBC. Stroman has allowed three earned runs or less in all but one of his previous eight starts and has a 2.24 ERA over that span, so he'll be a tough nut to crack. Marcus faced Pittsburgh out of the bullpen in his big-league debut on May 4th, 2014 but hasn't pitched against the Pirates since.
- Tom Prince will manage the Pirates the next two days while Clint Hurdle is away at Don Baylor’s funeral; the skipper will return Sunday.
- Yesterday Josh Bell became the third Pirate to hit at least 20 home runs in a season as a switch-hitter, joining Bobby Bonilla (1988, 1989 and 1990) and Neil Walker (2014). The MLB record for most homers by a switch-hitting rookie is 27, held by Eddie Murray (1977) and Tony Clark (1996). J-Bell is also one of five rookies in team history to hit at least 20 HR, joining Jason Bay, Ralph Kiner, Johnny Rizzo and Garrett Jones.
|J-Bell is in some fast company (image via Positively Pittsburgh)|
- Some familiar names playing for the Jays: JA Happ, Russ Martin, Joey Bats and Steve Pearce. Frankie Liriano was part of the gang but was recently moved to Houston.
- Pittsburgh has won four of their last five and six of their last eight games.
- Don't forget about me: RHP Nick Kingham tossed his first-ever complete game, going nine innings in a 3-1 Indy win last night. He gave up two hits (infield rap, solo HR), fanned eight and used just 85 pitches.