Pirates (19-16) at Mets (14-18)
1:10 PM–Citi Field, New York
The Pirates and Mets meet up in an early afternoon game today, which is good news for folks in Pittsburgh because the Pens play tonight at 7. As a result, ROOT can finally pull off a Bucs and Pucks doubleheader.
If you haven’t heard yet, catcher Tony Sanchez is in New York (but not officially on the team) in case Russell Martin needs to go on the DL.
The Pirates have also sent pitcher Duke Welker back to the minors to clear a roster spot for Francisco Liriano, today’s starter. Welker did not get in to a game during his short stint with the Bucs, but he’ll probably be back up later.
Neil Walker had a rehab game rained out last night in Altoona, so he’ll be staying there today and tomorrow. Hopefully he joins the Bucs on Monday.
Francisco Liriano (0-0, 0.00) vs. Jon Niese (2-3, 4.66)
Liriano, the subject of so much drama after signing/agreeing to sign with the Bucs, finally makes his 2013 debut this afternoon. It will be very interesting to see what the lefty can do. The key to his success (more so than most pitchers) is control, and while his last few seasons were not very good in that regard, he had a 33/4 K/BB ratio in his rehab outings (21.2 innings), so that is very encouraging. His strikeout stuff will be there, but the Bucs need more than that. Remember that this was a risky move and that Liriano is no guarantee to save the rotation, but he should be an improvement.
Niese has pitched well against the Bucs in the past but has been mediocre so far this season. The lefty walked six in his last outing and struck out only one more (20) than he’s walked (19) on the year, so the Bucs should be patient against him.
Bucs vs. Niese
Mets vs. Liriano
Here’s the #Pirates lineup for the 1:10 game in NY. Today Francisco Liriano will make his Bucco debut. #LetsGoBucstwitter.com/Pirates/status…
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) May 11, 2013