We have one more afternoon game today in downtown Detroit before the Pirates head home to face the Tigers for two games at PNC Park.
With a win today, the Pirates would go 3-2 on the short road trip. My motto is win two-thirds of your games at home and play .500 ball on the road and you’ll have a terrific season. This game is the difference between a 2-3 or 3-2 road trip.
Juan Nicasio will make his second start of the season after allowing the Cards just one run through 6.0 innings last week. Let’s see how he does on the road against a strong lineup. And the bats will try to keep up their momentum from yesterday after ripping Detroit for 17 hits in a 7-4 win. RHP Anibal Sanchez will start for the Tigers today. Sanchez is just 2-5 with a 3.67 ERA in 7 starts against the Bucs lifetime. Doesn’t seem right considering all I remember is facing him when he one-hit the Pirates and struck out 11 back in 2011 when he was still a member of the Marlins. It’s amazing how one performance can stick in your head. Since that start, however, Sanchez has struggled against the Pirates especially two rough starts in the last two seasons.
In some news from last night, the Pirates have released relief pitcher John Holdzkom. He was designated for assignment before Opening Day and now released. He’ll become a free agent if he clears waivers, and the Pirates could still sign him back to a minor league deal if they choose. Holdzkom was a great story in 2014 after getting called up by the Pirates following numerous years in independent leagues including the Australian Baseball League. Since then injuries and poor control have kept him in the minors until now when he was released.
I will be in attendance this afternoon for the game today, so if you’re traveling to Detroit for the game, hit me up on Twitter. Hopefully I can bring the Pirates home to the Burgh with a victory.