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Game Thread: Ivan Nova leads Pirates into two-game set with Brewers

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Also, a heaping helping of Chris Stewart!

Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The struggling Ivan Nova faces Zach Davies in tonight’s 7:40 game.

Gregory Polanco is back on the DL and catcher Elias Diaz is up from Triple-A, as Francisco Cervelli remains active, but is dealing with a hand injury. Good news for Diaz, at least! Right?

Oh, cool.

Diaz didn’t have a great July in Indianapolis, but he’s done alright so far in August. In any case, Chris Stewart has gone from a backup catcher whose bat you can stomach once a week to a guy hitting like a second pitcher in the lineup. And Clint Hurdle’s cool with that.

Adam Frazier is starting in right field, which I am happy about. He’s the best regular option there, at least when he’s not spelling someone in the infield. Let’s hope for more Frazier and less John Jaso this time around, though another outfielder like Jordan Luplow is probably coming up for Diaz once Cervelli can play.

Travis Shaw, masher of the Pirates and, really, everyone, is in Milwaukee’s lineup after dealing with right knee and foot injuries. The Brewers have put Jonathan Villar, displaced from second base by Neil Walker, in center field, where he’s played four career Major League innings.

The full lineups:

Pirates

  1. Starling Marte, LF
  2. Josh Harrison, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Josh Bell, 1B
  5. David Freese, 3B
  6. Adam Frazier, RF
  7. Jordy Mercer, SS
  8. Chris Stewart, C
  9. Ivan Nova, P

— — —

Brewers

  1. Jonathan Villar, CF
  2. Eric Thames, 1B
  3. Ryan Braun, LF
  4. Travis Shaw, 3B
  5. Domingo Santana, RF
  6. Neil Walker, 2B
  7. Manny Pina, C
  8. Orlando Arcia, SS
  9. Zach Davies, P