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Gamethread: Cole goes against obscure Tigers starter

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MLB: San Diego Padres at Pittsburgh Pirates Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

A 1:10 ET start sees Gerrit Cole facing Tigers’ starter Drew VerHagen. Ominously for the Pirates, VerHagen doesn’t appear to be very good. He’s pitched just nine innings for the Tigers this year, recording the same number of strikeouts (4) as HRs allowed. He hasn’t been much better in AAA, with a 4.90 ERA and 4.66 xFIP in 19 starts. This is VerHagen’s third major league start, to go with 41 relief appearances. Per BA, he ranked in the mid-range of the top 30 prospects in a chronically bottom-feeding system from 2012-15. BA characterized him as potentially a middle reliever. Players currently on the Pirates are a combined 7-for-11 against VerHagen, with five RBIs. Maybe more importantly, VerHagen looks remarkably like Justin Verlander.

Pirates

  1. Starling Marte, CF
  2. Adam Frazier, LF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, DH
  4. Josh Bell, 1B
  5. David Freese, 3B
  6. Gregory Polanco, RF
  7. Sean Rodriguez, 2B
  8. Jordy Mercer, SS
  9. Chris Stewart, C

Tigers

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  2. Mikie Mahtook, CF
  3. Justin Upton, LF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Nicholas Castellanos, 3B
  6. Victor Martinez, DH
  7. James McCann, C
  8. Andrew Romine, RF
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS