Game 106: Save Us, Ryan Vogelsong

After last night’s junker of a game, the Pirates turn to…Ryan Vogelsong? Yep, that’s right. Vogelsong is back to start tonight in his first appearance since taking a pitch off the bat while trying to bunt on May 23 against the Rockies.

As far as effectiveness, compared to Jeff Locke, Vogelsong is Warren Spahn. Vogelsong has a 3.74 ERA in 21.2 innings this year. Though the majority of that was out of the bullpen as this will be just Vogelsong’s third start for the Bucs in 2016 and that included his last outing when he only finished two innings before the injury.

Is this just a one-game start for Vogelsong? I don’t know. Was last night just a one-game start for Locke? I have no idea, and I’m starting to think neither do the Pirates brass and Clint Hurdle. At this point, the Pirates seem to have a three-man rotation of Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon and Ivan Nova, but after that your guess is as good as mine. There’s no reason at this point that Brault and Kuhl couldn’t be making starts over Locke.

Like last night with Rob Whalen, the Bucs will again face another unknown pitcher in RHP Tyrell Jenkins. Jenkins was brought over to the Braves in the Shelby Miller for Jason Heyward deal in 2014. He was a former first round pick (50th overall) in 2010, but repeated Triple-A last season and seems like a fairly average, non-strikeout pitcher. His career minor league numbers: 9.1 H/9, 3.5 BB/9, 6.6 K/9 with a 3.75 ERA. Screams average, doesn’t it? He made his ML debut in late June and eight outings, he’s posted a 4.91 ERA but a 6.92 FIP. He’s struggled mightily with command in the Majors with 20 walks to 15 strikeouts in 29 innings. He’s also served up six home runs in just 29 innings as well. Hopefully the Pirates offense doesn’t make him work early and then go quiet for the rest of the game like they did against Whalen.

Make sure you’re sitting down because Adam Frazier is starting in the leadoff position for the second consecutive game. I know, I know…I didn’t believe it myself. Gregory Polanco sits for a day off as Joyce plays left and Frazier is in right. And John Jaso sits again in favor of David Freese at first base. Thank goodness. And get ready for that Vogelsong-Fryer battery for tonight’s affair.

With the Pirates heading to Cincinnati for a series tomorrow and the Braves leaving for St. Louis after the game, I’m not sure why this wasn’t an afternoon getaway day, but anyway first pitch is set for 7:10PM.

Pirates North Shore Nine
Frazier RF
Freese 1B
Joyce LF
Marte CF
Kang 3B
Harrison 2B
Mercer SS
Fryer C
Vogelsong P

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