Pittsburgh Pirates Vs. Milwaukee Brewers Game 57 Preview


The Pittsburgh Pirates triumphantly return to PNC Park,tonight, riding on a winning note as Gerrit Cole picked up his National League leading ninth victory Sunday in the Bucs 3-0 shut out of the Braves in Atlanta.

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“Players heighten their focus when they go up against him. They scratch and claw and fight — and he was able to push them back every time,” manager Clint Hurdle said on the team’s web site after the win. “A very, very strong outing.”

Not only does the 24-year-old righthander (9-2, 1.73 ERA/1.10 WHIP) join with Felix Hernandez (9-2, 2.51 ERA/0.96 WHIP) of the Seattle Mariners as the Majors two nine-game winners, it was also Cole’s 30th Major League career victory. Happening in his 53rd start, the last Pirates pitcher to achieve 30 wins as fast was lefthander Emil Yde, who did it from 1924-1925.

The Pirates concluded their 10-game, 11-day road trip with a 7-3 mark. The last time the Pirates played that well on the road was 2005. The victory allowed Clint Hurdle’s squad to improve their record to six games over .500 at 31-25. They are in second place in the N.L. Central, six games behind the first place St. Louis Cardinals (37-19). The crew of the Jolly Roger also went from being 4 1/2 games back of a wild card playoff spot to owning the first wild card spot.

Tonight, Pittsburgh opens an eight-game, nine-day homestand with a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers. While the Bucs are 12-16 against the N.L. Central this season, they are 5-1 against the Brew Crew.

Milwaukee is 20-37 and coming off a 2-0 loss Sunday to the Twins in Minnesota. The Brewers are 4-6 in their last 10 contests and in last place in the N.L. Central. They are 10-18 against their division rivals. The Boys from Wisconsin have gone 15-31 against righthanders and 5-6 against lefthanders.

When: Monday, June 8

First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET

Site: PNC Park

Playing Surface: Kentucky Bluegrass

Television Coverage: ROOT Sports Network

Radio Coverage: KDKA-FM 93.7 – The Fan

Announcers: Greg Brown, Tim Neverett, Bob Walk, Steve Blass, and John Wehner

Live (Pay) Streaming: MLB.TV

Online Highlights: Pirates Video

Sirius XM Satellite Radio: XM Channel 183, XM Internet 861

All-Star Vote: 2015 Pirates Ballot

Odds: Pirates -1.5 According to OddsShark.com with the Over/Under at 7.5.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates /

Pittsburgh Pirates

Weather Forecast: According to the Weather Channel, Monday’s forecast is calling for thunderstorms with a low of 63. The winds will be out of the southwest at 10 to 15 mph. The chance of rain is 80%.

Starting Pitchers: Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell will go with Jimmy Nelson (2-6, 4.41 ERA/1.22 WHIP) this evening. The 6-foot-6, 245-pound righthander will be making his 12th start of the season and his third ever against the Pirates. The 26-year-old Nelson is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA in his two career starts against the Bucs which have both been this season.

The Bucs will hand the ball to A.J. Burnett (6-1, 2.20 ERA/1.22 WHIP). The 38-year-old will also be making his 12th start of the season. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound righthander is 2-6 with a 4.56 ERA in 11 career starts against the Brew Crew. He has put up a 2-1 mark with a 1.69 ERA in four starts at home this season.

In the middle matchup Tuesday, the Brewers will send 2011 first-round draft pick Taylor Jungmann to the hill. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound righthander will be making his Major League debut. The 25-year-old Jungmann has a record of 2-3 with a 6.37 ERA this season with the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox. The Bucs will counter with 31-year-old lefthander Francisco Liriano (3-4, 3.24 ERA/1.05 WHIP). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

A pair of righthanders will wrap up the series on Wednesday. Milwaukee will give the ball to 36-year-old Kyle Lohse (3-3, 5.37 ERA/1.38 WHIP) while the Pirates will send 31-year-old Charlie Morton (3-0, 2.84 ERA/1.16 WHIP) to the mound. The first pich is set for 7:05 p.m.

Beyond The Scoreboard: Hurdle is in his 13th season as a Major League manager and is two victories shy of 900 in his career…Coming into Monday’s contest, the Bucs lead all Major League squads with 66 double plays turned…Andrew McCutchen made his Major League debut Thursday, June 4, 2009. Since coming aboard the Jolly Roger, he leads all National League players in hits with 1044, runs with 581 and doubles with 214…The Pirates have an off day Thursday before continuing the homestand with a three-game weekend set with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Next: WATCH: Bucs could afford to mimic Cubs' lineup strategy

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