Phillies (39-44) at Pirates (51-30)
7:05 PM–PNC Park, Pittsburgh
The best team in baseball hosts their cross-state rivals this week at PNC Park. The Pirates are looking to run the win streak to ten and continue to dominate Philly at home – and unlike past years, the Phils aren’t even playing well. There will surely be plenty of Philly fans in town, but I’m betting on a much stronger Pirates contingent than we’ve seen in the past. This should be a fun holiday series.
The Pirates made a roster move today, recalling Brandon Cumpton and sending Josh Harrison to Indy. Jeff Locke was supposed to start tonight, but he was rendered unavailable after warming up extensively during extra innings on Sunday. Jeanmar Gomez has had four days of rest, but he’s not available either after an “aggressive bullpen” the other day. So, it’s Cumpton tonight, Locke or Gomez tomorrow (still TBD), and probably still Gerrit Cole on Thursday.
Jonathan Pettibone (3-3, 4.17) vs. Brandon Cumpton (0-0, 3.60)
Pettibone is a rookie and made his big league debut earlier this year against the Bucs (and pitched fairly well in that game). He has been decent for the Phils so far this year but certainly looks to be pretty hittable. The Pirates were pretty bad offensively in the last two games of the Brewers series (despite winning both) so hopefully they can get back on track against Pettibone.
Cumpton gets another spot start – he’ll probably head right back to Indy after this one. He’s been solid in his first two big league outings and came up really big by delivering five strong innings in Cincinnati a few weeks ago. The righty isn’t a big time prospect but could project as a decent big leaguer, and it’s a huge testament to the Pirates system that they have guys like this ready to go in a pinch.