PITTSBURGH — The Pirates will look to secure a series victory over the Cincinnati Reds and continue their torrid start to the 2018 season on Saturday.
The Pirates haven’t been 7-1 since 1973. They didn’t win their seventh game in 2017 until April 21.
If they’re able to do so, it’ll be without the services of right fielder Gregory Polanco, who was a late scratch with right foot discomfort. Adam Frazier replaced him in the lineup. Polanco fouled a ball off his foot on Friday night and his status is day-to-day.
Polanco has a 1.210 OPS through seven games. He played just 108 games in 2017 with a number of different injuries, and spent the offseason rededicating himself to his physical conditioning.
Steven Brault will stay in the starting rotation, and the Pirates will not go to a four-man rotation, despite the off days available to them to do so. Brault will start Wednesday in Chicago after Ivan Nova pitches the series opener Monday. Trevor Williams will close that series on Thursday.
“[Joe Musgrove] isn’t going to start his return-to-throw program until we get to Wrigley,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “Steven’s in line. Steven competed. He’ll have more confidence the next time out.”
That means that Tyler Glasnow will continue to the Pirates’ most reliable multi-inning option in the bullpen. Matt Gajtka wrote about the way the Pirates are easing him into the majors.
Gm 8: ☠ (6-1) vs. 🔴 (1-5)
SS 🤠@KuhlWhhip_11 (6.35 ERA) vs. Sal Romano (4.50)
— Alan Saunders (@ASaunders_PGH) April 7, 2018
RF Jesse Winker
3B Eugenio Suárez
1B Joey Votto
2B Scooter Gennett
LF Adam Duvall
CF Phillip Ervin
C Tucker Barnhart
SS José Peraza
RHP Sal Romano
It’s cold. Reds reliever and former Pirate Jared Hughes came off the field after a jog and was peeling layers off like it was December. The weather.com forecast for first pitch is 39 degrees and it’ll drop to 32 degrees by 11 p.m. At least there’s no rain the forecast. Wind is expected to be 8 MPH out the northwest. The flags in center are still.
As usual, I’ll be along for the ride in the comment section during the game.