It has been 5 straight wins for the Pirates. During that span, they have scored 40 runs and are just 9 runs away from breaking a Pirates record for most runs scored in April. As much as people have been talking about this teams incapabilities of scoring runs, they are third in all of baseball with 123.
Tonight, they will look to continue this hot streak and potentially break that record when they face Cincinnati for game 2 of their series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 at PNC Park. Francisco Liriano will be taking the mound to face Alfredo Simon.
Liriano currently holds a 4.64 ERA, but most of that came with a couple of bad starts. He excelled in his last start against the Diamondbacks. For his career, Frankie is 1-5 and holds a 3.96 ERA against the Reds. This is obviously not a great sign, but this is also a much different Reds team he will be facing this year.
As it has been well documented, Pittsburgh has lead the majors in Batting Avergae and On Base Percentage for almost all of April. They also have a chance to break the April’s runs scored record and are also on pace to break the runners on base record in all of Baseball. Coming into this game, Starling Marte and Josh Harrison lead the Pirates on average with a .333 average. Marte actually owns a five game hit streak recording 10 hits during that time.
Jared Hughes has received the recall today and will replace Rob Scahill in the Pirates rotation. Scahill will be optioned back to Indianapolis. This should provide a huge boost to Pittsburgh rotation, as it has been shaky at best. Hughes ranked 6th last year in ground ball rate, while sporting a 2.28 ERA in 67 innings of work. The move is somewhat shocking, as Scahill has been effective since he joined the Bucco’s in 2015, but the fact that he comes with options as many other don’t leaves him as the odd man out.
Alfredo Simon has not had a great 2016 season. To date, he owns a 16.39 ERA for his return to the Queen City. The 35 year old has already given up four home runs in just 9.1 innings and 28 base runners. With Liriano shaking off the injury dust, and the robust offense that is being displayed, Pittsburgh will look to continue this hot streak into tomorrow game.