Game two of this four-game series is set for 7:05PM at PNC Park as the Braves will be under new leadership in the dugout. Fredi Gonzalez was fired earlier today after leading an awful Braves team to a 9-28 start, which included the worst offensive team in most categories.
The Braves Triple-A manager Brian Snitker will take over at the helm starting with tonight’s game. Let’s hope the move doesn’t boost the Braves overall morale for the next couple games with a new manager in charge.
Atlanta will roll with its highly touted prospect Aaron Blair after calling him up a couple of weeks ago to make his ML debut. Through four starts, Blair is looking for his first win while posting a 4.05 ERA in 20 innings. Blair was just one piece in that ridiculous Shelby Miller deal with Arizona that also sent Dansby Swanson and Ender Inciarte to the Braves. Blair was off to a fine start this season at Triple-A Gwinnett with a 3-0 and a 1.42 ERA in three starts before getting the call.
The Pirates obviously have never faced Blair so it’ll be interesting to see how they handle the rookie.
RHP Juan Nicasio will make his eighth start of the season with the Pirates and look to pick up where Niese left off in a solid outing last night against the hapless Braves offense. Nicasio has been a mix bag so far and since his 7.0 shutout innings of the Reds on April 29, he’s allowed four earned runs in back-to-back starts. Let’s hope he gets back on track against Atlanta tonight.