|PITTSBURGH ( LOCKE )|
NY METS ( GEE )
|901||PITTSBURGH||-105||Ov 7.5,+100||+105||Ov 7.5,-125|
|902||NY METS||-105||Un 7.5,-120||-115||Un 7.5,+105|
|vs Right-handed Starters||14-10||+6.6||13-11||4.5||0.255||0.309||4.0||0.227||0.312|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-0.8||4-3||4.0||0.252||0.280||4.4||0.233||0.310|
|vs Left-handed Starters||6-7||-0.7||8-5||4.4||0.222||0.301||4.7||0.236||0.304|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-0.8||4-2||3.7||0.211||0.265||4.6||0.277||0.339|
|4/25/2013||MCDONALD(R)||@ PHILADELPHIA||LEE(L)||6-4||W||170||7 un||O||14||13||1||7||5||1|
|4/26/2013||SANCHEZ(L)||@ ST LOUIS||LYNN(R)||1-9||L||187||8 un||O||5||10||1||13||7||0|
|4/27/2013||BURNETT(R)||@ ST LOUIS||WESTBROOK(R)||5-3||W||-105||7 ov||O||11||10||0||8||9||0|
|4/28/2013||LOCKE(L)||@ ST LOUIS||MILLER(R)||9-0||W||185||7.5 un||O||13||7||1||3||6||0|
|4/29/2013||RODRIGUEZ(L)||@ MILWAUKEE||GALLARDO(R)||4-10||L||120||8 un||O||5||4||1||13||6||2|
|4/30/2013||MCDONALD(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||ESTRADA(R)||8-12||L||135||8 ov||O||14||6||1||15||9||0|
|5/1/2013||GOMEZ(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||BURGOS(R)||6-4||W||130||9 un||O||9||4||1||7||7||1|
|5/9/2013||LOCKE(L)||@ NY METS||GEE(R)|| |
|5/10/2013||RODRIGUEZ(L)||@ NY METS||MARCUM(R)|| |
|5/11/2013||LIRIANO(L)||@ NY METS||NIESE(L)|| |
|5/12/2013||GOMEZ(R)||@ NY METS||HARVEY(R)|| |
|5/16/2013|| ||MILWAUKEE|| || |
|4/25/2013||HEFNER(R)||LA DODGERS||RYU(L)||2-3||L||+120||8 un||U||5||7||0||6||4||1|
|4/29/2013||HARVEY(R)||@ MIAMI||FERNANDEZ(R)||3-4||L||-140||7 un||P||11||14||0||16||14||1|
|4/30/2013||HEFNER(R)||@ MIAMI||SLOWEY(R)||1-2||L||-120||8 un||U||4||2||0||5||4||0|
|5/1/2013||GEE(R)||@ MIAMI||LEBLANC(L)||7-6||W||-130||8 un||O||13||9||2||13||7||1|
|5/3/2013||MARCUM(R)||@ ATLANTA||MINOR(L)||7-5||W||182||7.5 un||O||7||2||0||10||7||0|
|5/5/2013||NIESE(L)||@ ATLANTA||HUDSON(R)||4-9||L||150||7.5 un||O||6||6||0||12||9||0|
|5/7/2013||HARVEY(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||SANTIAGO(L)||1-0||W||-160||6.5 ev||U||5||7||0||1||1||0|
|5/8/2013||HEFNER(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||PEAVY(R)||3-6||L||+105||7 un||O||8||7||1||13||9||1|
|5/13/2013||HEFNER(R)||@ ST LOUIS||LYNN(R)|| |
|5/14/2013||GEE(R)||@ ST LOUIS||WESTBROOK(R)|| |
|5/15/2013||MARCUM(R)||@ ST LOUIS||MILLER(R)|| |
|5/16/2013|| ||@ ST LOUIS|| || |
|PITTSBURGH: HITTING: The Pirates' two-month casual flirtation with competitiveness was cute while it lasted, before this team fizzled to a 72-win season. This team is still years away. But don't blame OF ANDREW McCUTCHEN, who might be the best all-around player in the division. Of all the ballyhooed outfielders from the 2005 draft, he's the one GMs would most want to build around. OF JOSE TABATA, not so much. He's serviceable and has plus speed, but the six-year extension the Pirates gave him was absurd. 2B NEIL WALKER has settled into a respectable place short of stardom. 3B PEDRO ALVAREZ has a lot of uphill climbing to do if he wants to wake up old expectations. He'll compete with 3B CASEY MCGEHEE for a starting role, but it's most likely that Alvarez moves to first base to back up 1B GARRETT JONES. OFs NATE McLOUTH and ALEX PRESLEY are underwhelming choices for the starting left-field spot. SS CLINT BARMES and C ROD BARAJAS would like to thank the Pirates for wildly overpaying them. |
STARTING PITCHING: JEFF KARSTENS looked pretty decent for much of last year. But that's what happens when you get to log 14 percent of your innings against the lowly Astros. Better teams exposed him for the replacement-level guy he is. Contrary to what a lot of bored, lazy sportswriters wanted you to believe last year, CHARLIE MORTON doesn't pitch like Roy Halladay. At all. JAMES McDONALD could still be special if he cut down his walk rate. ERIK BEDARD was a respectable signing. Even if his shoulder acts up, he cost only $4.5 million for a year. If he's healthy, he's still well above-average. KEVIN CORREIA may only be slightly more effective at striking out hitters than a batting tee, but the Pirates are grateful for the innings he eats. BRAD LINCOLN is the designated fill-in if any of the other starters get hurt (cough, Bedard). In the meantime, he's a swing man.
RELIEF PITCHING: Closer JOEL HANRAHAN has been outstanding since first donning a Pirates uniform in 2009, converting 40-of-44 saves with a 1.83 ERA last season. It makes sense for the rebuilding Pirates to move him, but they'll probably keep the hand they were dealt. There isn't another qualified ninth-inning pitcher in this bullpen though. EVAN MEEK was bit by the shoulder bug. His early season was an unqualified disaster, but he turned it around and regained his form once he came back in September. He should be fully healthy again, and a quiet source of a few saves. CHRIS RESOP is another primary set-up man, but he posted a 4.39 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 2011. DANIEL McCUTCHEN won't be so lucky with his ERA this year if he doesn't lower his walk rate. He's just not a guy to put much faith in.
|NY METS: HITTING: The Mets will be moving in the fences at Citi Field by as much as 12 feet and reducing the height to eight feet, making the park more homer-friendly. The loss of Jose Reyes and his NL-leading average at the top of the order weakens an already subpar lineup. 3B DAVID WRIGHT is coming off his worst season (.254 BA, 14 HR, 61 RBI) and could be traded at the July 31 deadline. New OF ANDRES TORRES provides very little at the plate (.221 BA, .312 OBP), but the future is bright for youngsters OF LUCAS DUDA (.852 OPS) and 1B IKE DAVIS (.926 OPS), who missed most of 2011 with an ankle injury. OF JASON BAY (.245 BA) continues to be a colossal bust. SS RUBEN TEJADA will be tasked with trying to replace Reyes. The 22-year-old made great strides last year, batting .319 after August 1. DANIEL MURPHY hit .320 last year, and will start at second, possibly losing AB in a platoon with JUSTIN TURNER. C JOSH THOLE hits well enough to be an above-average starting catcher. |
STARTING PITCHING: With the fences moving forward at Citi Field, the entire Mets pitching staff takes a hit. JOHAN SANTANA will be ready for Opening Day, but it's hard to have much faith that he'll remain healthy for an entire season. His velocity on his fastball is not what it used to be, topping out in the high-80's. MIKE PELFREY benefitted most from the pitcher-friendly ballpark with serviceable home numbers (3.94 ERA, 1.38 WHIP) and atrocious road statistics (5.49 ERA, 1.56 WHIP). JONATHON NIESE was also much better at Citi Field (3.54 ERA) than he was on the road (5.33 ERA), but he posted 14 games of 6+ strikeouts for the second straight season. DILLON GEE began the season 7-0 with a 2.86 ERA and 1.08 WHIP, but closed the 2011 campaign with a 5.51 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in his final 17 starts. Knuckle-balling R.A. DICKEY posted a second straight solid season with New York, notching a 3.28 ERA and a solid 1.23 WHIP. At age 37, he hopes to keep his pitches dancing in the smaller home ballpark.
RELIEF PITCHING: Two former Blue Jays late-innings relievers, FRANK FRANCISCO and JON RAUCH, were signed from Toronto to pitch at the back of the bullpen. Francisco will likely get first crack at the ninth-inning role, saving 17 games last year and keeping his strikeout rate above one per inning for the fourth straight year. Rauch is an imposing figure at 6-foot-11, but he posted a 1.35 WHIP and paltry 6.2 strikeout rate last year. But 52 saves since 2008 makes him a worthy candidate for ninth-inning duty. RAMON RAMIREZ was part of the Andres Torres/Angel Pagan trade and he should be a valuable set-up man. He had a strong two-year stint with San Francisco, posting a 2.07 ERA and 1.09 WHIP.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (PITTSBURGH-NY METS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Pirates-Mets Preview* ======================
By TAYLOR BECHTOLD STATS Writer
Pittsburgh (18-15) at New York (13-17), 7:10 p.m. EDT
While they're getting some solid performances on the mound, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been let down by a slumping offense.
The Pirates hope to shake off a disappointing homestand and get back on track at the plate Thursday night when they open a four-game set at Citi Field against a New York Mets team having its own problems offensively.
Following a promising 14-5 stretch in April, Pittsburgh (18-15) lost five of its last eight games.
Seattle ace Felix Hernandez added to the Pirates' offensive woes Wednesday, allowing one run in eight innings in a 2-1 victory that earned the Mariners a two-game split.
Starling Marte had two hits and Andrew McCutchen had an RBI single, but Pittsburgh went 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position and is 4 for 38 in those situations over its last five games.
"It just seems that we've got to find a better answer," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Maybe it's our mindset but we're getting pitched tough. It's not like it's chopped liver we've been facing."
As their starters posted a 2.70 ERA on the 2-3 homestand, the Pirates provided them only 12 runs of support. They lost three of the final four games while managing no more than seven hits in any of them and drawing a combined five walks.
It's been a similar struggle for the Mets (13-17), who scored one run over six innings for starter Jeremy Hefner in a 6-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.
New York has dropped eight of 11 while batting .193, including 72 strikeouts over the last seven.
"Sometimes it looks like we're pressing," manager Terry Collins told the league's official website. "Whether we are or not, again, it just looks like it. We've certainly got to relax and put better swings on the ball."
It might not get easier for Collins' club against Pittsburgh left-hander Jeff Locke in the opener. The Mets are hitting .205 with five homers and 20 RBIs in their last 13 games versus southpaws.
Locke (3-1, 3.21 ERA) had given the Pirates rotation a lift with 13 shutout innings in consecutive road starts, winning both, before allowing four runs over five innings in a 5-4 home loss to Washington on Saturday.
"Everything felt pretty good," said Locke, 3-0 with a 2.60 ERA in his last five starts. "I just need to be a little bit more efficient early in the count."
Locke was hit hard in his only career start at Citi Field, allowing five runs and nine hits over 3 2-3 innings in a 6-0 loss Sept. 26.
Ruben Tejada went 3 for 3 off Locke in that game, and David Wright singled against him to set a franchise record with his 1,419th career hit.
Wright is 0 for 5 with three strikeouts this week after homering in three straight games, but he hit .370 with two homers and nine RBIs in seven games against Pittsburgh last season. The Mets won both series between the teams.
Dillon Gee (2-4, 6.16) will face the Pirates for the first time since 2011 and has been dominant against them, going 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA in three starts.
Gee, though, enters Thursday with one of the highest ERAs in the majors. He's been tagged for eight runs and 16 hits in 11 innings over his last two starts.
The right-hander has a 2.50 ERA in three outings at Citi Field but has gone 1-2 while getting a combined two runs of support.
McCutchen is 1 for 9 against Gee but has been hot lately, batting .464 with two homers and five RBIs in his last seven games.
Marte is hitting .393 with four homers and eight RBIs over a seven-game hitting streak.
|Last Updated: 9/1/2014 6:04:56 PM EST|