Lineup: Jordy Mercer SS, Jordan Luplow LF, Cutch CF, David Freese 3B, Jose Osuna 1B, Gregory Polanco RF, Sean Rodriguez 2B, Chris Stewart C & Gerrit Cole P. Quite the lineup tonight. Starling out and Gregory in against a LHP?
|Gerrit toes the rubber tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Pitchers: Gerrit Cole (11-9, 3.93) takes on Brent Suter (2-2, 3.55).Cole is coming off a two hit gem against the Cubs (eight scoreless innings but received a no-decision in a 1-0 loss). He's gone 8-3/3.27 over his last 16 starts. Gerrit has been a road warrior, with a 7-0/2.38 slash in his last eight away starts. He's 1-0/2.33 in four appearances against the Brew Crew this year with three excellent starts and one so-so outing. Suter is slowly easing back into action since returning from the DL with rotator cuff problems, so the Brewers are crossing their fingers that they can get five or six innings out of him. He's seen the Bucs once this year, in July before he went on the DL, and gave up two runs on seven hits in 4-2/3 IP during a 4-2 Pirates win.
- Gerrit has won eight straight road decisions. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last Pittsburgh pitcher to win eight decisions on the road exclusively as a starter was Steve Blass in 1972 (Don Robinson had 8-in-a-row, but one was a victory in relief); the last to win more than eight was Wilbur Cooper (10 in 1921).
- Clint said that the six starters not named Gerrit Cole will be as-the-spirit-moves-us decisions for September starts; Cole Train is the only guy guaranteed his every-fifth-day rotation spot.
- The Bucs open their 2018 season at Detroit on March 29th with a three-game set. The Home Opener is April 2nd against the Minnesota Twins to start a two game series followed by a four-gamer v the Reds.