The Pirates and Brewers will finish up their season series with a three-game set at the ol’ dump Miller Park. The two teams are 8-8 against each other this season. It’s been a weird season series with the Pirates somehow winning four straight at Miller Park at the end of August, only to give it all back next week when the Brewers swept them at PNC Park.
The only thing still in doubt this season is if the Pirates will finish above .500 or not. This is their last series against a team under .500 this season. At 74-75 and with the Cubs, Nationals and Cardinals left on the schedule, it’s not looking promising.
Steven Brault will make his 7th start of the season and his career tonight against the Brewers. Despite only making six starts to date, Brault has already faced the Brewers two times and with relative success with a 3.27 ERA. He’s 0-2 against them though not really his fault and he’s still looking for win number one of his career. I see Brault as more of a bullpen guy for next year, but I like him getting starts down the stretch. He holds a 3.90 ERA and 4.47 FIP through six starts.
Matt Garza will throw for the Brewers tonight in his 261st start of the season. Garza had a late start to the season due to injury, but has made 17 starts so far and is 5-7 with a 4.22 ERA (4.48 FIP). Lifetime in 12 starts against the Pirates, Garza is 3-5 with a 4.02 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 65 innings.
The Bucs will roll with Adam Frazier and Josh Bell in the 1-2 spot tonight. Bell has been sort of impressive since being recalled, slashing .311/.413/.467 in 109 plate appearances this season. He has 17 walks to 10 strikeouts…for a rookie. Andrew McCutchen is alive and well, finally, these past two months and is hitting .280/.385/.857 with eight home runs, five doubles and one triple since August 5. Jung Ho Kang is looking for his first 20-HR season of his career. And Sean Rodriguez starts at second base after his co-NL Player of the week honors with a red-hot .423/.448/1.000 slash line with five home runs in his last seven games.
Pirates North Shore Nine