After a 12 inning battle with the Cardinals last night that ended about as well as Rick Santorum’s Presidential Campaign, the Pirates (32-29) will again host the Cardinals (33-28) tonight. Francisco Liriano is set to face off against Carlos Martinez.
Liriano has been struggling mightily heavy recently, but we will get into those struggles shortly. Just under 24 hours ago, Pittsburgh lost two of their key players for this season for an extended period of time. Gerrit Cole and Francisco Cervelli both left yesterday’s game with apparent injuries. All of Pirates Nation including the #NS9 impatiently sat to figure out the extent of these injuries. Well today it was announce by Ken Rosenthal that each player would miss significant time, but neither look to be season ending.
So far, it has been announced that Gerrit Cole has a tricep tightness with no word of his timetable if he will in fact be out at all. However, word on Cervelli is that he had surgery today on a broken hamate bone and will be out 4-6 weeks. Coinciding with this news was also the fact that the Pirates have traded for catcher, Erik Kratz, from the Angels for cash. There is nothing positive to take away from Kratz’s game expect for the fact that he took on Prince Fielder heads on at home plate and took the collision like a champ while making the out. This will be Kratz’s second stint with the Pirates as well as he played 9 games with Pittsburgh back in 2010 before ending up with the Phillies. Kratz is a career .210 hitter and has accumulated a .5 WAR over 7 seasons.
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As mentioned earlier, Francisco Liriano has been struggling heavily this season and especially over his past two starts where he’s given up 11 earned runs in 9.1 innings. For the season, his ERA has ballooned to a 5.25 and it was questioned if something may be bothering Liriano health wise. It appears he is escaping an DL stint at this time and will pitch in tonight’s game.
Other moves that were made today were the optioning of Kyle Lobstein and Cole Figueroa while they have recalled Arquimedes Caminero and Rob Scahill. These moves make a ton of sense right now with the way the bullpen has been taxed recently.
Carlos Martinez will be making the start for the Cardinals and he brings with him a 3.76 ERA. Martinez is coming off of back to back wins where he has tossed 14 innings and given up three earned runs. In 45 career innings verse the Pirates, Martinez holds a 4.57 ERA.
Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte have each found solid success against Martinez. Polanco is sitting at a career .571 batting average, while Marte holds a career .438.
- Jaso 1B
- McCutchen CF
- Polanco RF
- Kang 3B
- Marte LF
- Harrison 2B
- Mercer SS
- Stewart C
- Liriano P