Jason Grilli is on the disabled list, but baseball waits for no one. The Pirates have one win in a four-game set against the Nats in which I think three wins is a reasonable expectation. Tonight seems like a decent opportunity to get the second one; Gerrit Cole starts for the Pirates against the Nats' Taylor Jordan. Jordan is a 24-year old rookie that hadn't even made it to Advanced-A ball before this year. He started 2013 in the Carolina League, got promotoed to the Double-A Eastern League and dominated there, and now he's made four starts with the Nats. He's been pretty successful, but it seems to me like someone is going to change that some time soon.
Cole, meanwhile, has been pretty up-and-down of late. In general, he's had some rough first innings, but generally bounced back well. The hole's he's been digging have been significant enough that the Pirates have lost all three of his July starts, though. Working through this sort of thing is what young pitchers have to do. The Nats have been struggling at the plate of late, so what better time than now to figure it out?
The first pitch tonight is at 7:05. Neil Walker is back in the lineup at second base, and Jordy Mercer is back at shortstop.