Tonight, the Pirates take on the Cincinnati Reds in Game Two of a three-game series. The game also serves as pitcher Ivan Nova’s Pirates debut. With the New York Yankees this season, Nova was 7-6 with a 4.90 ERA in 21 games, 15 of which were starts.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle offered a checklist of what he’s looking for in Nova’s start.
“He needs to follow the glove, display sinker command, have the ability to use some secondary pitches if need be and possess rhythm and pace,” Hurdle said. “He needs to trust (Francisco) Cervelli.”
Nova will have the advantage of pitching at PNC Park and not Yankee Stadium, which is typically known as a hitter’s park.
“(PNC Park is) shaped a lot differently than Yankee Stadium,” Hurdle said. “The ball gets out of Yankee Stadium in a heartbeat. Let’s tell it the way it is, we like going there to hit. It plays part of it — but not the full picture. He needs to execute with his pitches.”
Nova is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in two career starts against the Reds.
Nova will be facing Cincinnati’s Homer Bailey (1-0, 3.18 ERA). This is Bailey’s second start of the season; he pitched 5.2 innings Sunday against the San Diego Padres. It’ll be Bailey’s 19th career start against the Pirates and his ninth at PNC Park. He owns a 1.92 ERA at PNC Park, which is his lowest at any ballpark where he has made at least five starts.
Bailey owns an 8-5 career record and a 3.28 ERA against the Pirates, but Bailey is 5-1 with a 1.92 ERA in eight starts at PNC Park.
Additionally, Bailey threw his first of two career no-hitters at PNC Park on Sept. 28, 2012.
Caminero traded to Mariners
Saturday morning served as a reminder to fans that trades can happen after the trade deadline when Arquimedes Caminero was traded to the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named later.
This season with Pittsburgh, Caminero was 1-2 with a 3.51 ERA in 39 games. Additionally, his WAR was at a career-high 0.6, and he had a 2.08 ERA in his last 15 games.
“It’s part of the game. We helped him, and he helped us,” Hurdle said. “There’s lessons to be learned here that he can take moving forward: to continue to work hard and continue to improve, be consistent and be the best reliever he can be. He’s grown up in front of us in such a short period of time. We’re continuing to find ways to get better as an organization, and this was a move we felt we could have that spot where we can put in play and continue to fight what we’re trying to fight and get where we need to get.”
In the short term, Curtis Partch will be called up from Triple-A Indianapolis to take a relief role. Partch has made 33 relief appearances for the Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate this season and has gone 2-1 with a 2.05 ERA — to go along with three saves.
Between the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Partch pitched 20 games for the Reds.
This isn’t Partch’s first major league stint this season; he made an appearance June 19 against the Chicago Cubs. He didn’t record an out in his appearance, allowing a single, a walk and an RBI single before he was pulled.
There was no corresponding move made for Partch at the time of publication because he wasn’t part of the 40-man roster.
The need for a relief spot came because Felipe Rivero is likely being unavailable in tonight’s game and because Locke is unavailable in the bullpen (he started Wednesday’s game). Hurdle announced Locke is being moved back to the bullpen, this time permanently. Hurdle does expect Locke to be ready to pitch Sunday.
Locke’s move to the bullpen gives the Pirates two long relief options, something Hurdle desires.
- Josh Harrison 2B
- Starling Marte LF
- Andrew McCutchen CF
- Matt Joyce RF
- David Freese 3B
- John Jaso 1B
- Francisco Cervelli C
- Jordy Mercer SS
- Ivan Nova P
- Billy Hamilton CF
- Zack Cozart SS
- Joey Votto 1B
- Adam Duvall LF
- Brandon Phillips 2B
- Scott Schebler RF
- Eugenio Suarez 3B
- Tucker Barnhart C
- Homer Bailey P
Bottom of the ninth
Hurdle revealed Ryan Vogelsong will start Wednesday’s game against the Padres, and Jameson Taillon will pitch Thursday.
The starter for Tuesday’s game has yet to be announced, but Chad Kuhl is expected to get the nod. Kuhl was scheduled to start tonight’s game for Triple-A Indianapolis, but Kyle Lobstein is pitching in his place.
Nova is the 48th different player and 12th starting pitcher used by Pittsburgh this season. The club record is 52, which was set in 2011.
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