Game 115: A Kuhl Rubber Match

Yesterday was not a game to be excited about. After tying a club record by leaving 18 men on base, they lost to the Dodger by a score of 8-4. Today, they will look to overcome that loss and try to win this series with the help of Chad Kuhl.

Since getting his call on June 26, Chad Kuhl has gone 2-0 with a 3.91 ERA in 25.1 innings pitched. The Pirates themselves have gone 5-0 in all games pitched by Kuhl, so that’s a pretty Kuhl stat. Kuhl faced the Dodgers once already this season, which was his MLB debut. In that game, he tossed 5 full innings and allowed three earned runs while striking out five.

Chad has mostly kept the team in the games he’s pitched. While he did allow four earned runs in just 2.1 innings against the Cubs on July 9, he has lasted at least five innings and has not allowed more than three runs in either of the four other starts. His command has been streaky and he has allowed a good amount of fly balls on the year, so he will need to make sure he is spotting his sinker low in the zone to ensure a sixth Bucco victory with him on the mound today.

Of course, not only will the Bucco’s need Chad to hit his marks in the strike zone, but they will also need less Bucs on the pond and more Bucs crossing home plate. Though having a team that can put 18 batters on base in a positive takeaway, not having people to be able to drive them in makes it all the more frustrating.

With Starling Marte continuing to be this team’s MVP, and the resurgence of Andrew McCutchen, the top of the order is finally looking to shape up as a legitimate threat. Hurdle will finally decide to place John Jaso where his play has earned him, which is the bench. In his place, David Freese will take his .284/.363/.448 slash line over to first base to help ignite this team’s runs efficiency.

On the other side of the diamond, the Dodgers will be giving lefty Brett Anderson the ball to make his 2016 debut after coming off of back surgery this past March. Anderson has had a very up and down career and settled decently with the Dodgers last season. He totaled 180.1 innings and produced a 3.69 ERA. For his career he owns a 3.72 ERA.

Since coming off of his surgery, Anderson has made three minor league rehab starts and has pithed a total of 12 innings. His last outing saw him reach five total innings, so it’s safe to expect the bullpen will be used quite early today. This should bode well for the Pirates as they were able to get to the Dodgers bullpen early yesterday forcing Brandon McCarthy out of the game during the 2nd inning.

The Dodgers will be without Justin Turner again today due to his hand injury. They will also have five lefties in the lineup and a switch hitter as well in Yasmani Grandal. Though its just a small sample size, this could wreck havoc on the Pirates as Chad Kuhl has allowed lefties to hit .327 off of him.

Pirates Lineup:

  1. Josh Harrison 2B
  2. Starling Marte LF
  3. Andrew McCutchen CF
  4. David Freese 1B
  5. Jung Ho Kang 3B
  6. Jordy Mercer SS
  7. Francisco Cervelli C
  8. Sean Rodriguez RF
  9. Chad Kuhl P

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