Lineup: Starling Marte LF, Adam Farzier 2B, Cucth CF, Josh Bell 1B, David Freese 3B, Gregory Polanco RF, Jordy Mercer SS, Chris Stewart C & Chad Kuhl P. The Pirates delayed the lineup again tonight, apparently testing J-Hay to see if he was ready; guess something is up with Cervy, too *sigh*
Pitchers: Chad Kuhl (3-7, 4.84) hooks up versus Sal Romano (2-2, 4.57). The 24-year-old Kuhl's last start was a no-decision in a 3-2 loss to San Diego. Home field advantage is a misnomer tonight as Chad sports a 1-4/6.04 slash in his 10 PNC Park starts with his only win back on April 8th. But he's getting the hang of it - Chad has a line of 1-1/3.27 in six starts during the month of July, giving up more than two runs just once in that span. More light at the end of the tunnel: he's starting to at least make it through six innings more often than not and is doing better against lefties. So steady as she goes for Cool Chad in his first full-time season. He's never faced the Reds. Romano is a big 'un at 6'5"/270 lbs and will be making his sixth MLB start; he's gone past five innings once. He can miss bats with a strikeout per frame, but he's also walked 17 in those 21-2/3 IP, so it's easy to see how his pitch count piles up. We'll see if the Bucs have the discipline to deal with him; they sure haven't shown much plate savvy in the past week or two.
|Chad will try to poke his finger in the dike (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
- Despite proving himself human last night, Felipe Rivero leads all MLB relievers with a 0.99 ERA. He's gone 9-for-9 in save opportunities this season and has produced five multi-innings saves.
- Feast & Famine: Cervy has turned icy of late. He's gone 2-for-27 in his last eight games after hitting safely in six straight. Ditto for Starling, who's gone 3-for-23 in his last six games after hitting safely in five straight.
- Indy reliever Durapau Montana has struck out the last nine batters he has faced. The 25-year-old righty is being used as a set-up man by the Tribe after closing at Altoona for the past two campaigns.
- 27-year-old OF Eury Perez, who the Pirates signed in the off-season from the Tampa system in a minor-league deal, was acquired by the Marlins (return unknown at this point). He hit .336 at Indy and has parts of four years (73 games/.254 BA) in the show.
- RHP Mitch Keller, the Bucs hot pitching prospect, was promoted to Altoona after slashing 6-3/3.14 ERA with a 0.99 WHIP at Bradenton. The 21-year-old Keller was a second-round prep pick in 2014 and has been fighting the injury bug during his brief career.
- If you're a little confused about the August trade rules, when the players have to pass through waivers, Andrew Simon of MLB.com has a primer for ya.