Game 123: Paging the Offense

The Pirates and Astros will play game two of their three-game series tonight with first pitch at 7:05 at PNC Park.

There’s not much to say about this one other than the Pirates offense needs to walk up before they fall further out of the wildcard hunt. The Astros are throwing Joe Musgrove at the Pirates tonight. He’s a prospect, former first round pick and only tossed 23.2 innings into his ML career. I don’t even care what kind of stuff Musgrove has or his numbers on the year. Pirates offense has to turn it around tonight and take some frustration out on him. In the last three games, the bats are slashing .154/.196/.220. They’ve struck out 28 times to just five walks and scored four runs. It’s ugly right now.

Clint Hurdle is at least mixing the lineup tonight with Adam Frazier leading off instead of Josh Harrison, Matt Joyce is in right as Marte sits after his 3-for-21 slump and Polanco is in left field. Josh Bell is in the lineup at first base for the third straight game.

RHP Ivan Nova will make his fourth start for the Pirates since being traded to Pittsburgh at the deadline. Nova faced the Astros in the Yankees opening series and fired four shutout innings out of the bullpen in a 16-6 Yankees win. Let’s hope he continues that success tonight.

Pirates North Shore Nine
Frazier 2B
Joyce RF
McCutchen CF
Polanco LF
Freese 3B
Bell 1B
Cervelli C
Mercer SS
Nova P

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