Game 108: Pittsburgh’s Super Nova

After a dramatic win last night against the Reds, Pittsburgh will take their efforts back to PNC for game two of this series. With Pittsburgh back to being over .500 on the season again, they will get to use their latest toy they acquired in the trade deadline. Ivan Nova will make the first pitch tonight at 7:05.

While everyone has their strong beliefs on what took place this deadline, the fact is Pittsburgh gained a 29 year old pitcher from the Yankees who never lived up to expectations. Nova made his MLB debut as a 23 year old and has been plagued with injuries throughout his entire career. He owns a career 4.41 ERA in the Bronx and is currently sporting a 4.90 ERA in 97.1 innings on the season. As the Pirates always enjoy, Nova has a 54.3 ground ball percentage. With him being removed out of the bandbox in Yankee Stadium, the confines of PNC Park should certainly be friendlier to him.

Homer Bailey is coming fresh off of his return from Tommy John surgery and making his second start of the season. In his only start, he lasted 5.2 innings while giving up two earned runs. He also actually struck out six batters which was pretty impressive.

Expectations are not high for Bailey as he builds upon his stamina and works to regain his form from Tommy John. He does own a career 4.18 ERA while his best season came in 2013. In no surprise to Pirate fans, however, he does own a 1.92 ERA at PNC Park and the Pirates as a team have batted just .175 against him.

As Andrew McCutchen returned to the lineup last night, he went 0-2 but did draw two walks and a stolen base. He enters today having a very enticing slash line verse Bailey as he has hit .302/.455/.395 over his career in 55 at bats.

Starling Marte, as mentioned in our article here, has been on a tear recently as he begins to make way of becoming Pittsburgh’s next superstar. For the season he is hitting .319/.377/.471 with 38 extra base hits along with 38 stolen bases. He also leads the team in WAR with a 4.1.

It was announced today that Arquimedes Caminero was traded to the Mariners for presumably two players to be named later. Caminero, who came to the Pirates last season in a deal with the Marlins, owned a 3.51 ERA this season though his FIP of 4.74 showed he hasn’t been quite as effective as his ERA suggests. In his 41 innings pitched, he has allowed 46 hits and 22 walks while also allowing four home runs. With the additions of Felipe Rivero and Antonio Bastardo into the bullpen, one could suggest the Pirates plan on placing Jeff Locke back into the bullpen and recalling either Tyler Glasnow, Chad Kuhl, or Steven Brault.

Pirates Lineup:

  1. Josh Harrison, 2B
  2. Starling Marte, LF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Matt Joyce, RF
  5. David Freese, 3B
  6. John Jaso, 1B
  7. Francisco Cervelli, C
  8. Jordy Mercer, SS
  9. Ivan Nova, P

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