Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wednesday: Pirates at Tigers, Nova v Justin Verlander, Lineup, Notes

Tonight: The opener at Detroit will start at 7:10. The contest will be carried by AT&T SportsNet and 93.7 The Fan. It'll be interesting to see how much diff the DH will make in these two games after Pirates pitching pretty well dominated at PNC Park.

Lineup: Starling Marte LF, Adam Frazier 2B, Cutch CF. Josh Bell DH, Josh Harrison 3B, Gregory Polanco RF, Jordy Mercer SS, John Jaso 1B, Fran Cervelli C (Ivan Nova P). Even with a DH, Freeser gets a day off' likely don't want to night-day him. Nice to see Fraze back in the lineup, but we wonder how badly he must play third that they have to move J-Hay there instead of just making one simple switch.

Ivan looking to keep it in the park tonight (photo via MLB.com)

Pitchers: Ivan Nova (10-8, 3.66) has his work cut out against Justin Verlander (7-7, 4.20) Super Nova be making his 23rd start of the season and is trying to get over the hump. He's 3-4/5.21 in his last eight outings with the longball biting him, surrendering 11 homers in 44-2/3 IP. He's gone at least six innings in just four of his last seven starts starts, so the rotation is hoping for Ivan to catch a second wind. Nova is 0-2 /6.66 in five career appearances (four starts) against Motown. They were all as a Yankee, and he hasn't tossed against them since 2013. Verlander has been rounding into shape; in his last six games, he's 2-2/2.31 with 44 K in 39 IP.  He also may be auditioning; he's got a big contract and the Astros are said to be interested in him, sooo... He's 4-2/4.15 against the Pirates after seven career starts. The Buccos chased him early in 2014 and 2016; he was tough on them in 2015, so not a lot to go on other than he can be had...or not

Notes:
  • Starling is making his 21st straight start since returning from his suspension.
  • The Pirates have gone 4-1 in their last five games played at Comerica Park. They split the two games played here last year and swept a three-game series in 2015.
  • Hand in glove: Pittsburgh’s starting staff has posted a 2.27 ERA in its last seven games (5-2). During that span the team has also been charged with just two errors in 270 total chances.
  • Hey, guess who started at first base yesterday? Yep, none other than ex-Bucco & current Met Neil Walker, trying to save his back from the rigors of the middle infield. It was a move that was tossed about in his Pirates days but never came to pass.
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