Game 52: Niese at Marlins Park

Jon Niese will toe the rubber for the Pirates when they take on the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park at 7:10PM in game three of the four-game set.

Niese had a rough start to the season, but has settled in nicely with a 2.45 ERA in his last four outings, including two consecutive starts of one run ball in 6.0 and 7.0 innings of work. He’s been just as good in Marlins Park, going 3-0 with a 2.81 ERA in five career starts at this park as a member of the Mets.

The Pirates bats will look to bounce back against LHP Adam Conley tonight after being blanked by Jose Fernandez through 7.0 innings last night. The Bucs are 7-3 against southpaws this season and are leading the NL with a .281 batting average off them. Conley has been decent this season, but the Pirates sure do love themselves some lefties. I think we’ll see this lineup bounce back and lead the way tonight.

The schedule this month is brutal with the Pirates set to face the Angels, Mets (twice), Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, Dodgers and Mariners. The Pirates have had their best month in June in the Clint Hurdle era with an 84-49 record under him. Let’s hope they continue to play that kind of ball against these top teams. We all know they usually do better against the top teams over the damn Reds and Brewers. Let’s get off to a good June start tonight and tomorrow to close out this series with the Fish.

Polanco sits tonight versus the lefty while Mercer leads off, Freese is at third base and Jaso is batting 8th for the first time this season.

Pirates lineup:
Jordy Mercer SS
Andrew McCutchen CF
David Freese 3B
Starling Marte LF
Francisco Cervelli C
Josh Harrison 2B
Sean Rodriguez RF
John Jaso 1B
Jon Niese P

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