Bucs' lineup to feature number of playoff newcomers

Harrison, Davis, Polanco excited to participate in postseason

Bucs' lineup to feature number of playoff newcomers

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates are unmistakably in familiar territory. They hosted and won the National League Wild Card Game last year against the Reds.

While they have a lot of pieces from their 2013 club back with the memorable victory in their memory bank, the Pirates' lineup will look different than it did a year ago. It's likely there will be five new starters in this year's Wild Card Game for a team that has adapted and succeeded in the past four months.

"It's going to be like a kid, the first day of school," said Josh Harrison, who's gone from being a utility player who was on the bench in last season's Wild Card Game to the starting third baseman.

"You just can't wait to get to the ballpark, get dressed for the game and go out there. … I'll probably just wake up amped."

Harrison at least experienced the scene of a sold-out PNC Park in last season's NL Wild Card Game, but there are a handful of contributors on the roster who will be experiencing it for the first time.

One of those is Ike Davis. The first baseman was never a part of a playoff race until this season, spending his first four seasons with the Mets, before being acquired by the Bucs in April.

Davis, who could very well be coming off the bench as lefty Madison Bumgarner is set to start for the Giants, spent the last two months talking about how he was enjoying his first pennant chase. And he'll get his first taste of a Major League postseason Wednesday.

"Every day it's getting a little harder to sleep," Davis said. "But I'm really excited for [Wednesday] to start and just feel the energy and to feel what the atmosphere is like."

While Edinson Volquez, Pittsburgh's starter Wednesday, remembers watching the 2013 game while his Dodgers prepped for the Braves in the NL Division Series, Gregory Polanco viewed the game at his home with his family.

Polanco, a rookie right fielder who has been used mostly for defense and pinch-running lately, recalled a statement he made that night.

"I said to my father, 'One day, I'm going to be there, playing that game, too,' " the 23-year-old said. "It's impressive [I'm here now]. I feel very proud."

Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.