While we savored the Reds Sunday and series victory in St Louis, the Reds (4-2) travelled eastward to Pittsburgh. Tonight at 7:05 EDT they open a three game series with Pirates (3-2) who are fresh off a weekend sweep of the Braves capped by a 10th inning walk off win Sunday.
What’s up with the Pirates…..
The Pirates are looking to get back to the playoffs in 2017 after missing out last year, ending a three year run of wildcard appearances. In Redleg Nation’s Pirates preview , Nick Carrington detailed that the Pirates should have plenty of offense but have significant unanswered pitching questions and are likely at best fringe contenders. The most notable change for the Pirates is the juggling their defensive outfield setup. In a case of same faces in different places, Andrew McCutchen moved to right field, Starling Marte is in center field, and Gregory Polanco plays left field.
Lefthander Brandon Finnegan will make his second start of 2017 for the Reds. Finnegan was very impressive in his first outing of 2107 pitching 7 scoreless innings. He allowed just 1 hit, striking out 9 batters while walking only 1. Given Finnegan’s control issues in 2016, Reds fan hope that type of strikeout to base on balls ratio is indicative of what we will see from Finnegan on a regular basis throughout 2017.
Tyler Glasnow, a 23 year old righthander who still carries rookie status will make his first start of 2017 and fourth overall MLB start for the Pirates. MLBPipeline.com rates Glasnow as the the top right handed pitching prospect in all of baseball for 2017. Look for a mid 90’s live fastball and a big but sometimes erratic curve from Glasnow. Over his minor league career Glasnow averaged more than 10 strikeouts per 9 innings at all levels. On the other side of the coin, he walked batters at a rate of around 5 per 9 innings.
Possibly Fake Numbers….
For what it is worth (or not) at this point in the season, here’s some ZIPS 2017 projected numbers for tonight’s starters:
|PITCHER||Projected 2017 FIP||Projected HR/9||Projected BB/9||Projected K/9|
Not that it couldn’t be said of most MLB Games; but, the guy who pitches closest to his strikeout numbers while avoiding walks will probably position his team to have the better chance of winning.
Both bullpens appear to be in good shape coming into the series.
Neither Michael Lorenzen nor Raisel Iglesias pitched for the Reds on Sunday. Blake wood pitched 2 innings and could have limited availability tonight.
The Pirates closer Tony Watson was not used on Sunday despite the tight game which extended into a 10th inning. The Pirates bullpen innings during their weekend series with the Braves were well distributed; Clint Hurdle should have a full deck if needed.
UPDATE: Zack Cozart has been scratched with a “sore wrist”. Scooter Gennett takes his place in the lineup (7th). Gennett will play at 2B in the field with Jose Peraza moving to SS.
Tonight’s game features two highly touted young pitchers who strike out a lot of batters but also walk a lot of batters. It would figure that at least one of them will walk his way into trouble and then get burned by a
timely well sequenced hit or two which turns the game against his team. So, now watch them both go out throw gems.
And good luck seeing this one to those of us who’ve been getting warnings from Fox Sports Ohio that our friendly cable company may be about to drop Fox Sports Ohio at any time.