|PITTSBURGH ( LIRIANO )|
NY METS ( NIESE )
|901||PITTSBURGH||+110||Ov 8,-105||+105||Ov 7.5,+105|
|902||NY METS||-120||Un 8,-115||-115||Un 7.5,-125|
|vs Left-handed Starters||4-5||-0.1||4-5||2.4||0.200||0.261||3.6||0.227||0.305|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1||3-4||3.3||0.249||0.287||3.0||0.219||0.282|
|vs Left-handed Starters||7-8||-0.7||9-6||4.2||0.229||0.303||4.7||0.244||0.310|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+1.8||5-2||4.0||0.238||0.289||5.0||0.286||0.346|
|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)||2-3||L||110||8 ov||U||8||10||0||8||7||0|
|5/10/2013||RODRIGUEZ(L)||@ NY METS||MARCUM(R)||7-3||W||-110||7.5 ev||O||12||6||0||10||7||1|
|5/11/2013||LIRIANO(L)||@ NY METS||NIESE(L)|| |
|5/12/2013||GOMEZ(R)||@ NY METS||HARVEY(R)|| |
|5/18/2013|| ||HOUSTON|| || |
|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||NIESE(L)||@ ST LOUIS||WAINWRIGHT(R)|| |
|5/17/2013||HARVEY(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||JACKSON(R)|| |
|5/18/2013|| ||@ CHICAGO CUBS|| || |
|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 NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO STATS Writer
Pittsburgh (18-16) at New York (14-17), 1:10 p.m. EDT
Garrett Jones is proving to be more productive on the road than at home. That's certainly held true against the New York Mets.
Jones looks to continue his impressive hitting at Citi Field on Saturday and help the Pittsburgh Pirates to a second straight win over the sputtering Mets.
Jones is hitting .327 with four homers, six doubles and 12 RBIs on the road, compared to a .271 average with four extra-base hits - one homer - while knocking in eight runs at home.
The first baseman has been particularly good in the past nine games away from Pittsburgh, batting .353 with three homers and nine RBIs.
Jones' production against the Mets is also much better as the visitor. He owns a .327 average in 14 games in Flushing, going 10 for 24 with seven RBIs in the past seven meetings there, compared to 3 for 18 over his last eight at home.
He hit New York hard again Friday, collecting two doubles and a three-run homer in a 7-3 win, a day after the Pirates (19-16) dropped the opener of this four-game set 3-2.
Starling Marte also had three hits while adding an RBI Friday, and he's batting .355 on the road.
Jones and Marte, though, may be in for a stiff test with the Mets (14-18), losers of six of eight at home, scheduled to send Jonathon Niese (2-3, 4.66 ERA) to the mound.
The left-hander is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in three starts against Pittsburgh, but he hasn't come close to being that effective recently.
Niese is 0-3 with a 5.68 ERA over his last four starts and his latest performance was his worst of the season. He was tagged for seven runs over four innings and matched his career high with six walks in Sunday's 9-4 loss at Atlanta.
"It's embarrassing," Niese said. "I know what I have to work on. In bullpens I'm going to work on pounding the zone and throwing strikes. I've just got to learn from it and know when to expand the zone and when not to."
Niese, though, could use some help from the offense, which has backed him with five total runs over his last four games. He probably shouldn't expect much of an improvement in this outing, with the Mets batting .198 and averaging 2.4 runs over the last eight home contests.
Lucas Duda is one of the major culprits, going 3 for 26 with a solo homer and eight strikeouts over that stretch. He's 0 for 16 over his last six meetings with Pittsburgh after going hitless in five at-bats in this series.
Facing the punchless Mets would seem a good way for Francisco Liriano to make his Pirates debut.
The left-hander, who suffered a broken right arm in December, went 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 21 2-3 innings over five minor league starts.
"I'm very happy with the way everything is going, and I'm happy to be here, to get another chance to compete," Liriano told the team's official website.
Liriano, who is facing the Mets for the first time, was 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 52 2-3 innings over 12 games - 11 starts - with the Chicago White Sox last year after opening the season with Minnesota.
|Last Updated: 10/21/2014 9:00:59 AM EST|