Lineup: Starling Marte CF, Adam Frazier 2B, Josh Harrison 3B, Josh Bell 1B, David Freese DH, Gregory Polanco RF, Jordy Mercer SS, John Jaso LF & Fran Cervelli C (Trevor Williams P). Cucth gets the day off; no word on whether he's available to pinch hit. Gregory is OK and in the field. We think the lineup would be more solid with S-Rod at third, J-Hay home at second and Fraze in LF, but for some reason no one asked, lol.
|Let the good times roll... (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Pitchers: Trevor Williams (5-4, 4.17 ERA) takes on Chris Rowley (0-0, 0.00). Trevo is making his 18th start and his last one was a doozy. Williams was a force on Monday, allowing one hit and three runners in seven scoreless innings against the Tigers. He's posted a 2-1/3.21 ERA line in his last nine starts, has been durable and put up a 1.8 WAR so far this year. He's never pitched against Toronto. Rowley is making his first MLB start and will become the first West Pointer to reach the majors. The 27-year-old was a late bloomer, undrafted out of the Academy and then serving two years in the Army but has made up for lost time. Rowley has gone through three levels since 2016 with a 2.66 ERA in 11 AA/AAA starts this year. He throws a 91-92 MPH sinker, change, cutter & slider and is a finesse guy who doesn't miss many bats, working the edges and getting soft contact. Rowley doesn't cave in to traffic on the bases and in many ways seems cut from the same cloth as Trevo, today's mound opponent.
- Cutch wasn't the only man down last night. Gregory had his foot checked out after banging a foul off it; it's getting so that a guy isn't safe even when he's DH'ing! Cutch will start today on the bench; El Coffee is patrolling right so he apparently just was bruised up a bit.
- Since the All-Star break, Fraze’s .397 BA ranks first in the NL and third in all of MLB, trailing only Toronto’s Ezequiel Carrera (.412) and Houston’s Jose Altuve (.411).
- The leadoff element: Starling has been successful in his last seven stolen base attempts. He's six-of-six since returning from his suspension after going just two-of-four in April.
- The Pirates have won 7-of-9 and are at .500 again. They're four games behind the Cubs and two behind the Cards (the Redbirds have won seven in a row) in the loss column. Last night was their 32nd come-from-behind win of the season, which matches the club’s 2016 total.
- Pittsburgh is 6-1 in its last seven games against American League opponents. Since the beginning of 2012, Pittsburgh’s 66-48 record during interleague play is the top mark in the NL and fourth-best in the majors.
- Russ Martin went on the DL today after suffering an oblique strain last night.