New York Mets (47-40) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (34-56) - Friday, July 16, 2021 @ 7:05 p.m.
Stadium: PNC Park, Pittsburgh
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: 93.7 The Fan
SB Nation Mets site: www.amazinavenue.com
Mets: Marcus Stroman - RHP - (6-7) – 2.75 ERA – 83 total Ks
Pirates: Chad Kuhl - RHP - (2-5) – 4.73 ERA - 42 total Ks
Probable Starting Lineups (subject to last-minute changes)
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. Marcus Stroman – P
1. Adam Frazier – 2B
2. Ke’Bryan Hayes – 3B
3. Bryan Reynolds – CF
4. Ben Gamel – LF
5. John Nogowski – 1B
6. Wilmer Difo – RF
7. Jacob Stallings – C
8. Kevin Newman – SS
9. Chad Kuhl – P
The Pittsburgh Pirates will look to open the traditional second half of the season with a victory tonight when they take on the New York Mets in the first game of a three-game series at PNC Park.
Chad Kuhl will open on the mound for the Bucs, who finished the pre-All-Star Game portion of the schedule with a 34-56 mark – third worst in the major leagues. Marcus Stroman (6-7, 2.75 ERA) will start for the Mets, who take a 47-40 mark into tonight’s game and lead the NL East division by 3 ½ games over the second-place Philadelphia Phillies.
Kuhl made 11 starts for the Bucs in the first half of the season, giving up 42 hits and 28 walks in 51 1/3 innings while striking out 42.
His most recent start, which came July 6 against the Braves, was his best of the season, as he worked six innings and gave up just four hits and one earned run in a 2-1 win. The 28-year-old right-hander did not walk a batter and struck out seven in tying his season-high with 97 pitches – 61 of which were strikes.
Stroman, meanwhile, will look to exact revenge against the Pirates, who tagged him with a loss in a 6-2 decision on July 10 at Citi Field. In that game, Stroman gave up five hits and three earned runs while striking out five in five innings.
The diminutive Stroman, who is listed at 5-feet-7 and 180 pounds by Baseball Reference, is in his first full season with the Mets. He was traded to New York by Toronto in 2019 and posted a 4-2 mark with a 3.77 ERA in 11 starts with the Mets. He opted not to play in 2020.
Despite his seven losses this season, Stroman has pitched well, as evidenced by his 2.75 ERA. He has given up more than three earned runs only twice in his 18 starts – four runs in four innings against the Washington Nationals on April 24 and five runs in six innings against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 16.
Lost in the luster of the Pirates’ successful first-year player draft earlier this week was the come-from-behind win they posted during the final game before the All-Star break Sunday. In that game, the Bucs spotted the Mets a 5-0 first-inning lead and then slowly battled back before claiming a 6-5 victory with a ninth-inning rally at Citi Field.
NOTES – Several roster moves were announced prior to the game. Phillip Evans was reinstated from the injured list and Cole Tucker was optioned to Indianapolis. Also, right-hander Nick Mears was recalled from Indianapolis. Sam Howard was placed on the injured list during the All-Star break.
The Pirates also announced the signings of five players selected in this week’s First-Year Player draft – shortstop Mike Jarvis, round 6, from San Diego State; catcher Wyatt Hendrie, round 7, from San Diego State; right-hander Sean Sullivan, round 8, Cal; outfielder Luke Brown, round 9, Louisville; and right-hander Justin Meis, round 10, Eastern Michigan by way of Bethel Park High School. All will report to the Florida Complex League, where the Pirates field two teams.