Pitching: Jon Niese (5-2, 4.36) starts it off against LHP Steven Matz (7-1, 2.60) in a southpaw showdown. Kinda fitting that Niese should work the first contest between the two clubs since he and Neil Walker were swapped. After a rough patch, Jon has become the mid-rotation guy the Bucs were hoping for, and in the last four starts has given up just six runs in 24 IP (2.25 ERA). His ground ball rate has been roughly 2:1 and the long ball, an early season bugaboo, is under control, too - he's only given up a pair of dingers in that span. Matz won the May Rookie of the Month honors, going 4-0 /1.83 ERA and is sporting a personal seven game winning streak. The 25 year old is a ground ball machine who also averages nine K per nine IP. A 93 MPH sinker is his main weapon with a variety of breaking pitches in his toolkit.
|Jon climbs the bump in the first game (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Lineup: Josh 2B, Cutch CF, Freeser 1B, JHK 3B, Starling LF, Fran C, El Coffee RF, Jordy SS, Niese P. Fran and Freeser, welcome back!
Today's DH wasn't caused by the oddly scheduled make up in Colorado Thursday if you were wondering. The Mets have a game scheduled, so yesterday's makeup was destined to be a twin bill. One interesting blowback: it presented a window for Jameson Taillon to make his debut tomorrow. We'll have more on that later, but we expect the buzz to be at least equal to Gerrit Cole's arrival and prob a little louder, since JT will be pitching here.
- Wilfredo Boscan is expected to be the P
irates 26th man for game two today. The rule is that teams can add an extra player from the 40 man to their active roster for the second game of a scheduled doubleheader to eliminate the hassle of a one day call up to bolster the bullpen.
- The Bucco dress code for Thursday's flight to Colorado: "JEANS OKAY PENGUINS JERSEY."
- The West Virginia Power will be repped by RHP Mitch Keller, OF Tito Polo, 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes and trainer Dom Cappozzo in the 2016 South Atlantic (Sally) League All-Star game.