Look through your closets and find that broom, Bucco Nation, because the Pirates are going for the sweep tonight at 7:05PM versus the Cardinals. A sweep over a division rival would be the perfect idea of starting fast for Hurdle and the Pirates.
For the second consecutive game, a starting pitcher will make their Pirates debut as Juan Nicasio will be on the mound tonight. Nicasio has already made a name for himself this spring when he struck out 10 Orioles in 4.0 innings in a Grapefruit League start. The former Rockies and Dodgers pitcher then went on to allow zero runs in 15.0 innings of work. Well tonight it’s for real and I think people are expecting the best unlike they were last night with Niese. I’m excited about seeing what Nicasio can do against the Cards. Hopefully Nicasio can go longer in the game than Niese did last night because after 11 innings, including six from your bullpen, it would be nice to give them a little rest after a long game.
The Cards will counter with new pitcher themselves in Mike Leake. You may remember Leake as a nemesis of the Buccos when he was with the Reds. Leake’s career numbers are no surprise if you’ve been watching the Pirates for the past six years: He’s 8-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 24 starts against the Pirates. I expect nothing less than from him to keep that up as a Cardinals because it’s what they do.
Hurdle will roll the same lineup out there tonight as the first two games of the series and why wouldn’t you? It’s worked for two wins already so let it keep rolling.
Pirates North Shore Nine