Chad Kuhl’s Options Against Lefties

Lost in the middle of a 14 inning, rain delay loss Wednesday was a solid start by Chad Kuhl. He was lifted after five frames because the Pirates needed a pinch-hitter, but with only two runs and three hits on his ledger, it was an encouraging sight in what has been a trying season.

Kuhl has a 6.02 ERA over his first 11 outings, averaging just 4.5 innings a start. He’s been fine against righties, holding them to a .694 OPS, but he has struggled with lefties. Entering play Wednesday, they had a .337/.406/.660 slash line against him. The Mets took advantage of that massive split this past Friday, stacking the lineup with eight lefties. He was chased in the fifth after five runs and eight hits. Other teams will likely follow suit.

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Perrotto: McCutchen’s Bat Showing Signs Of Life

Andrew McCutchen can give great answers with nothing more than a facial expression.

That was the case Sunday night when I asked the Pirates center fielder the question that has been on everyone’s mind for the first two months of the season.

Are you finished?

McCutchen pulled his head back, rolled his eyes and then broke into a big smile. He then gave the slightest of chuckles and walked away to begin preparing for a game the Pirates lost 7-2 to the New York Mets at PNC Park.

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Pirates-Diamondbacks Preview Capsule

Pirates (23-28) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (31-21)

Monday: RHP Trevor Williams (2-3, 5.93) vs. RHP Randall Delgado (1-0, 3.82), 4:05 p.m.

Tuesday: RHP Ivan Nova (5-3, 2.83) vs. LHP Robbie Ray (4-3, 3.45), 7:05 p.m.

Wednesday: RHP Chad Kuhl (1-5, 6.29) vs. RHP Zack Godley (1-1, 1.99), 12:35 p.m.

NOTES: The Pirates are in last place in the National League Central, 4 ½ games behind the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers. … The Diamondbacks are in the third place in the NL West, two games behind the division-leading Colorado Rockies. … The Pirates lost two of three to the New York Mets over the weekend. … The Diamondbacks have lost two games in a row following a five-game winning streak. … Pirates 2B Josh Harrison is on a 10-game hitting streak, going 17-for-44 (.386) with two doubles, four walks and five strikeouts. … Diamondbacks C Chris Iannetta is 8-for-28 (.286) in his last eight games with two doubles, three home runs, one walk and eight strikeouts. … Williams and Nova are both 1-0 against the Diamondbacks in their careers while Kuhl has never faced them. … Delgado is 0-1 against the Pirates in his career while Ray is 0-2 and Godley has no decisions.

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Taillon to Make Rehab Start Tomorrow

Finally, the Pirates have received some good news.

Doctors have determined that Jameson Taillon is healthy enough to get back on the mound.

The team announced this evening Taillon will make a rehab start tomorrow for the Altoona Curve at Erie.

Earlier this month, Taillon underwent surgery for testicular cancer. If all goes well, the right-hander could rejoin the team sometime in June.

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Perrotto: Frazier Becoming the Pirates’ Hit Man

Things have changed dramatically for Adam Frazier in two weeks.

The Pittsburgh Pirates infielder/outfielder has gone from a being a super utility player to the regular left fielder and leadoff hitter. The 25-year-old has made such an impact during the Pirates’ stretch of eight wins in their last 12 games that he is drawing high praise from teammate David Freese.

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Pirates-Mets Preview Capsule

Pirates (22-26) vs. New York Mets (19-26)

Site: PNC Park

Friday: RHP Chad Kuhl (1-4, 5.85) vs. RHP Jacob deGrom (3-1, 3.56), 7:05 p.m.

Saturday: RHP Gerrit Cole (2-5, 3.36) vs. RHP Zack Wheeler (3-2, 3.74), 7:15 p.m.

Sunday: RHP Tyler Glasnow (2-3, 6.69) vs. RHP Matt Harvey (3-3, 5.36), 8:08 p.m.

NOTES: The Pirates are in last place in the National League Central, four games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs. … The Mets are in third place in the National League East, 8 ½ games behind the first-place Washington Nationals. … The Pirates have won two games in a row and eight of their last 12. … The Mets have lost two games in a row and 10 of their last 13. … The teams are meeting for the first time this season after splitting six games last year. The Pirates are 18-8 against the Mets since the start of the 2013 season. … Pirates LF Adam Frazier is 20-for-47 (.426) with two doubles, two home runs, nine walks and six strikeouts in his last 12 games. … Mets LF Michael Conforto is on a seven-game hitting streak, going 11-for-26 (.423) with two doubles, four home runs, six walks and 11 strikeouts. … Cole is 1-2 against the Mets in his career while Kuhl and Glasnow have never faced them. … deGrom is 0-2 against the Pirates, Harvey is 0-1 and Wheeler has never faced them.

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Upcoming Decisons for Hurdle

Don’t look now but the Pirates are stringing together wins and showing shines of turning around the 2017 season.

Following today’s 9-4 win over Atlanta, the Pirates have now won 8 of their last 12 games.

They’ll have a chance to keep up the winning baseball because starting tomorrow night against the New York Mets, 16 of their next 21 games will be played at PNC Park.

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