|Smyly likely to debut for Phils vs. Pirates|
The Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies play the deciding game of their series at PNC Park on Sunday, and the matchup of starters isn't necessarily what it looked like it would be coming into the weekend.
It wasn't until after Saturday's game, a 5-1 Pittsburgh win, that the Pirates confirmed Sunday's starter, while the Phillies' starter was still not official.
It appears that newly signed Philadelphia right-hander Drew Smyly (1-5, 8.42 ERA) will face Pittsburgh right-hander Dario Agrazal (2-0, 2.45).
Reports came out Friday that the Phillies and Smyly agreed on a major league contract, and that he would likely start Sunday, although manager Gabe Kapler cautioned that the team was "still going through physicals" with Smyly.
Smyly, 30, made 13 appearances, including nine starts, with Texas before being released June 25 and signing a minor league contract with the Brewers on July 1. In three Triple-A starts, he had a 4.97 ERA, striking out 18 and walking three. He opted out of the Brewers contract Thursday.
Kapler said Friday that "assuming we're able to sign him officially," Smyly was expected to start Sunday. The signing still was not official immediately after Saturday's game but could be before Sunday's.
Smyly is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in two career appearances, one start, against Pittsburgh.
Agrazal, a rookie who has made his first four major league starts this season, will be going on regular rest. Tuesday at St. Louis, he gave up one run and five hits in six innings, with no strikeouts and three walks, but did not get a decision.
"My goal was to attack the zone," Agrazal said through an interpreter. "I'm going to come out here, compete, stick to my plan and just attack the zone."
He has never faced Philadelphia.
Originally, it looked as if Philadelphia right-hander Vince Velasquez would face Pittsburgh right-hander Joe Musgrove in the series finale Sunday.
Velasquez, however, will slide back to a Wednesday start against Detroit. He has no wins since May 24, and there was speculation he would be assigned to the bullpen.
Instead, Nick Pivetta was sent to the bullpen. He made just his second major league relief appearance -- and first that was not out of necessity in an extra-inning game -- Saturday, giving up a run in two innings.
Another new face in the Philadelphia bullpen is right-hander Mike Morin, acquired Saturday from the Twins in exchange for cash considerations.
Musgrove, meanwhile, had his start pushed up a day so he could fill in Saturday for Trevor Williams. Musgrove gave up just an unearned run in six innings and got the win.
Williams, it was announced Friday, was a scratch for Saturday because of "severe flu-like symptoms." He was in the dugout for the game Saturday, raising speculation that he could conveniently just trade with Williams and start Sunday, but manager Clint Hurdle said the Pirates would "take it one day at a time" with Williams, adding that Williams "felt better, did some tossing and some stuff, but Agrazal will start."
Musgrove said Williams "is a warrior and will battle through it, but he was in pretty bad shape."
Hurdle indicated it's not known whether Williams might start Monday against St. Louis.
--Field Level Media