Going into their end of the week series beginning Friday at PNC Park, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers will be searching for something scant to come by of late.
That would be a success for the Pirates — and a game of any kind for the Tigers.
Pittsburgh finished a seven-game losing streak Thursday with a 6-5 walk-off win over the Minnesota Twins.
Detroit was off Thursday. Once more.
The Tigers haven’t played since getting cleared in a doubleheader Sunday at home against Cincinnati. Detroit got an unforeseen rest that was definitely not its doing.
The Tigers were planned to hold a home-and-home series with St. Louis, two games in every city, except each of the four games were deferred after the Cardinals had a COVID-19 outbreak.
That allowed Detroit to hold two or three exercises suggestive of training camp, however the Tigers’ turn got tossed into a touch of confusion in spite of pitchers getting an additional side session and the group holding live batting practice Wednesday and Thursday during its additional exercises.
“It’s different,” Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd (0-1, 7.20 ERA), who is scheduled to pitch in the series opener Friday in Pittsburgh against right-hander Chad Kuhl (0-0, 1.80 ERA), told the Detroit website. “Not usually are you given four days in the middle of the year. But we’re going to use it to our advantage.
“It’s like spring training. … We’re making the most of it, and it’s fun. You’d rather be playing baseball (games), but this is the hand that we’re dealt right now, so we’re just rolling with it.”
Boyd is the only starter whose spot was resolved as of Thursday, despite the fact that Ivan Nova and Spencer Turnbull are penciled in for Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
“The problem there is that if you take one guy whose turn was coming up and then you put him in the back, it’s a lot of days (off),” Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Boyd is 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA in three career begins against Pittsburgh.
Kuhl will make his first beginning since September 2018 after he experienced Tommy John surgery.
In his initial two appearances this year, he followed Steven Brault in a piggyback circumstance. Privateers manager Derek Shelton didn’t unveil whether Friday would be another piggyback night yet with the jobs turned around, despite the fact that he allowed that “we said all along when we were going back and forth with those guys that we would mix up the starts of how they were doing it. We just felt it was a good opportunity (Friday) for Chad to start.”
Sunday, Kuhl left his trip against the Cubs after two innings as a result of an issue with the index finger on his pitching hand, where the nail cut into the cuticle, yet that issue has evidently settled.
“The first inning of my Cubs outing, it was probably the best I’ve felt since surgery,” Kuhl said, adding he hopes to pitch at least four innings against the Tigers.
“I feel like the breaking balls are there. I lost a little bit of fastball command in that second inning (of work) just from my finger bleeding. We had a little tough stretch there. I feel really good about the way I’ve thrown the ball and how I’ve bounced back, recovery-wise.”
Kuhl has won each of the three of his career begins against Detroit, with a 5.09 ERA.