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Pirates vs. Mets — 7/11/2021

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Atlanta Braves v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Pirates (33-56) vs. New York Mets (47-39) - Sunday, July 11, 2021 @ 1:10 p.m.

Stadium: Citi Field, Queens, N.Y.

TV: AT&T SportsNet

Radio: 93.7 The Fan

SB Nation Mets site: www.amazinavenue.com

Starting Pitchers

Pirates: Chase De Jong - RHP - (1-3) – 5.08 ERA - 47 total Ks

Mets: Aaron Loup - LHP - (3-0) – 1.73 ERA – 32 total Ks

Probable Starting Lineups (subject to last-minute changes)

Pirates

1. Adam Frazier – 2B

2. Kevin Newman – SS

3. Bryan Reynolds – CF

4. John Nogowski – 1B

5. Ben Gamel – LF

6. Wilmer Difo – RF

7. Rodolfo Castro – 3B

8. Michael Perez – C

9. Chase De Jong – P

Mets

1. Brandon Nimmo – CF

2. Francisco Lindor – SS

3. Dominic Smith – LF

4. Pete Alonzo – 1B

5. Jeff McNeil – 2B

6. Michael Conforto – RF

7. Jonathan Villar – 3B

8. James McCann – C

9. Aaron Loup – P

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The Pittsburgh Pirates will look to end the traditional first half of the season on a winning note when they close out a four-game series with the New York Mets at Citi Field in Queens.

But by far the biggest Bucco story of the day will happen well off the field, as they own the top pick in MLB’s annual amateur draft, which gets under way at 7 p.m. Eastern time in Denver.

Today’s portion of the draft will consist of the first 36 picks –the 29 first-round selections and seven Competitive Balance Round A picks. The event will be televised on both ESPN and the MLB Network. An hour-long draft preview will air on the MLB Network at 6 p.m.

Day 2 of the draft begins at 1 p.m. Monday with the Pirates making the first pick in Round 2, and will conclude with the last pick in Round 10. Day 2 will be carried on MLB.com, and rounds 11 through 20 will take place Tuesday starting at noon. Again, MLB.com will carry the final day’s selections.

The Pirates haven’t given many substantive hints as to their No. 1 target, so that’s allowed the speculation to run rampant for weeks. MLB.com draft experts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo have the Pirates selecting Marcelo Mayer, the shortstop from Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, Calif., just south of San Diego. Baseball America also has the Pirates taking Mayer, although that publication ranks fellow prep shortstop Jordan Lawler as the No. prospect in the draft.

Also in the mix for the top pick are Louisville catcher Henry Davis and Vanderbilt pitcher Jack Leiter, with prep shortstop Kahlil Watson rising fast. Leiter’s Vandy pitching mate, Kumar Rocker, whom many tabbed as the No. 1 pick heading into this season, has fallen out of favor, at least in terms of the No. 1 pick sweepstakes.

The Pirates have the largest overall pool — $14,394,000 – in this year’s draft.

Back on the field, the Pirates have a shot to earn a series split when they take on the Mets this afternoon.

Following a rainout in what was to be the first game of the series Thursday, the Mets won Friday’s game, and the two teams split a doubleheader Saturday.

Taking the mound for the Pirates today will be right-hander Chase De Jong, who has put together a 1-3 record and a 5.08 ERA so far in seven appearances – all starts.

Getting the start for the Mets is Aaron Loup, who is 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA. The 33-year-old left-hander will be making his first career start after appearing in 436 games in a major league career that has spanned 10 years.

This season, Loup has pitched a total of 26 innings over 30 games and has given up 20 hits and five earned runs. He has walked six and struck out 32.

De Jong, a second-round draft choice by Toronto in 2012, earned his first win as a Pirate in his most recent start, which came Monday against the Atlanta Braves.

In five innings, De Jong limited the Braves to just four hits and one earned run. He did walk three and struck out four in 92 pitches.

In his sixth start, which came on June 29 at Colorado against the Rockies, De Jong allowed four earned runs, seven hits and two walks while striking out six in 4 2/3 innings.