Tuesday, May 15, 2018

CWS Visit, Willy v Lopez Rematch & Notes (Some Pitching News)

Today: It's a 7:05 opening pitch and the game will be on AT&T SportsNet and 93.7 The Fan. And yay, Pup in the Park Night too! It should be OK weather for the game with a slight chance of passing showers. Gabby Barrett will stop by to sing the National Anthem before she appears at the Rivers Casino tonight.

Lineup: Adam Frazier 2B, Gregory Polanco RF, Starling Marte CF, J-Bell 1B, Corey Dickerson LF, Fran Cervelli C, Colin Moran 3B, Jordy SS & Trevor Williams P. The prime time lineup.

Willy's looking to pick up the pace (image Pittsburgh Pirates)

Pitchers: In a repeat from last week, RHP Reynaldo Lopez (0-2, 3.44 ERA) opens against RHP Trevor Williams (4-2, 3.13). Willy has had a couple of rough starts after beginning the season like Cy Young w/o the strikeouts. He has to get back to missing a few more bats and keeping the ball in the yard. It helps that he's at home, where's he's tossed his best ball. His only start against Chicago was a no-decision last Wednesday against Lopez when he gave up four runs in five innings. Lopez looked strong against the Pirates last week; hopefully, having seen him once recently will help focus the bats a little more. He didn't get the decision as Colin Moran snatched a 6-5 Bucco victory from the jaws of defeat with his ninth-inning long ball. He's been consistently strong so far this year; in six of his seven starts, he's surrendered two or fewer runs. But his peripherals - FIP, K's, BABIP, HRs, walks and ground ball rate - all point to a regression, much like Willy's did; the Pirates can hope it arrives sooner rather than later.

Notes:
  • Clint said in the pre-game scrum that Jamo's cut is healed enough that he'll make his scheduled start tomorrow. He added that George Kontos will be yanked from the set-up role; the Bucs will fill it by committee. Sounds like Clint will try to match up in the seventh and eighth now rather than going from rote, so we'll see how that all shakes out.
  • Starling brings an eight-game hitting streak into tonight.
  • Merritt Rohlfing of Beyond the Box Score posts why he believes Cervy is legit this year. 
  • The Pirates have won six of their last eight games and gone 11-6 in their last 17 games.
Joe maybe a start away (photo via MLB.com)
  • Joe Musgrove is set for another rehab start Friday at Indy (on five days rest); if that ends well, he'll rejoin the rotation for the Cincy series next weekend. The Bucs are looking for six innings/100 pitches.
  • Not very encouraging: Nick Kingham's start for Altoona last night lasted five IP, and he gave up four runs on seven hits with a walk, wild pitch and four K. The start was delayed a bit by rain and he had a rough first frame, so we'll find out quickly enough how the Pirates evaluated the outing.
  • J-Hay went 0-for-3 with a walk in his first rehab game for the Curve, playing seven frames. He'll be off today, DH Wednesday, play nine innings on Thursday and it's TBD after that.
  • To further burnish his EL Player of the Week award, Altoona OF'er Jason Martin jacked another homer and posted his sixth straight multi-hit game. 
  • Pirate prospect Gage Hinsz just had open heart surgery to replace a failing valve; his story and a link to his gofundme page is here.
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