|PITTSBURGH ( LIRIANO )|
DETROIT ( VERLANDER )
|903||PITTSBURGH||+160||Ov 7.5,-105||+180||Ov 7.5,-110|
|904||DETROIT||-170||Un 7.5,-115||-190||Un 7.5,-110|
|vs Right-handed Starters||26-13||+16.7||17-21||4.2||0.248||0.308||3.4||0.221||0.292|
|Past 7 Games||6-1||+5.4||2-5||3.1||0.220||0.289||2.0||0.195||0.229|
|vs Left-handed Starters||4-6||-7||7-2||5.6||0.286||0.358||5.5||0.274||0.335|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+1.8||3-4||6.4||0.316||0.378||4.1||0.248||0.298|
|5/21/2013||RODRIGUEZ(L)||CHICAGO CUBS||GARZA(R)||5-4||W||-145||7.5 un||O||8||9||0||11||8||1|
|5/22/2013||LIRIANO(L)||CHICAGO CUBS||SAMARDZIJA(R)||1-0||W||-135||7.5 un||U||3||5||2||4||8||1|
|5/23/2013||GOMEZ(R)||CHICAGO CUBS||JACKSON(R)||4-2||W||-130||7.5 ov||U||9||8||1||7||5||1|
|5/24/2013||BURNETT(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||ESTRADA(R)||1-2||L||100||7.5 ov||U||5||5||0||4||4||0|
|5/25/2013||LOCKE(L)||@ MILWAUKEE||FIERS(R)||5-2||W||115||9 un||U||9||6||0||5||5||2|
|5/26/2013||RODRIGUEZ(L)||@ MILWAUKEE||GALLARDO(R)||5-4||W||130||8 un||O||10||9||1||10||6||1|
|5/27/2013||LIRIANO(L)||@ DETROIT||VERLANDER(R)|| |
|5/28/2013||GOMEZ(R)||@ DETROIT||PORCELLO(R)|| |
|6/1/2013|| ||CINCINNATI|| || |
|6/2/2013|| ||CINCINNATI|| || |
|6/3/2013|| ||@ ATLANTA|| || |
|5/16/2013||VERLANDER(R)||@ TEXAS||DARVISH(R)||4-10||L||105||7.5 un||O||7||5||1||10||3||0|
|5/17/2013||PORCELLO(R)||@ TEXAS||TEPESCH(R)||2-1||W||115||10.5 un||U||6||10||1||8||8||1|
|5/18/2013||SANCHEZ(R)||@ TEXAS||GRIMM(R)||2-7||L||-130||9.5 ev||U||7||5||2||13||9||0|
|5/19/2013||FISTER(R)||@ TEXAS||HOLLAND(L)||8-11||L||120||9 un||O||13||10||1||18||9||0|
|5/21/2013||SCHERZER(R)||@ CLEVELAND||KLUBER(R)||5-1||W||-135||9 un||U||11||9||0||3||4||0|
|5/22/2013||VERLANDER(R)||@ CLEVELAND||JIMENEZ(R)||11-7||W||-150||8 ov||O||14||7||0||13||8||0|
|5/29/2013||SANCHEZ(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||BURNETT(R)|| |
|5/30/2013||FISTER(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||LOCKE(L)|| |
|5/31/2013||SCHERZER(R)||@ BALTIMORE||GONZALEZ(R)|| |
|6/1/2013|| ||@ BALTIMORE|| || |
|6/2/2013|| ||@ BALTIMORE|| || |
|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.
|DETROIT: HITTING: OF AUSTIN JACKSON doesn't make much contact, but manager Jim Leyland likes his speed in the leadoff spot. RYAN RABURN and RAMON SANTIAGO will split second base duties, with Raburn getting the majority of the starts. 3B MIGUEL CABRERA seems to have cleaned up his act. He's an MVP candidate. So is newcomer 1B PRINCE FIELDER who will try to keep slugging in his move to a pitchers' park. His presence was needed after DH VICTOR MARTINEZ was lost for the season with a knee injury. OF DELMON YOUNG is a pending free agent, and he hit well after escaping spacious Target Field. He'll nab the starting LF job but could also DH. OF BRENNAN BOESCH did enough pre-injury to earn an everyday role, but he'll again be in danger of fading over the summer. SS JHONNY PERALTA had a resurgence in 2011, and he's on the right side of 30. C ALEX AVILA might not hit for average, but his power is legit. Leyland favorite BRANDON INGE and DON KELLY will back up the All-Star corner infielders, so neither expect to get much playing time. Streaky OF ANDY DIRKS is a fourth outfielder. C GERALD LAIRD will spell Avila. |
STARTING PITCHING: You can't expect an identical stat line for JUSTIN VERLANDER; his opponent .236 batting average on balls in play suggests there was some luck involved in his MVP season. But he's still the best pitcher in the American League by a wide margin. DOUG FISTER's improved strikeout rate with the Tigers suggests he could sustain success as a quality No. 2 starter. MAX SCHERZER can still be outstanding when he's on, but he was inconsistent again last year. He could figure it out in his late-20s, but time is running out. RICK PORCELLO still has a ways to go. His mid-season success came against some weak lineups. He's still only 23, but he hasn't been able to beat hitters at any level in the pros. The Tigers are still searching for a No. 5 starter. Top prospect JACOB TURNER is only 20, but the Tigers haven't been shy about fast-tracking young arms. He was dominant in the minors, but torched in his first big-league stint. ANDY OLIVER appears to be the front-runner for this role, but DREW SMYLY is also a possibility.
RELIEF PITCHING: JOSE VALVERDE was perfect in 2011, but it was a surprising development considering his sliding K/BB ratio. For Tigers fans, he carries more risk than 49-for-49 would suggest. One of baseball's better set-up men, JOAQUIN BENOIT is an eighth-inning-only guy. He'd take over if Valverde got hurt. OCTAVIO DOTEL is another elite set-up man who will step up as the seventh-inning guy. As good as AL ALBURQUERQUE was in the regular season (one extra-base hit'a double'allowed in 43.1 innings!), he's out until at least the All-Star break after offseason elbow surgery. Lefty DANIEL SCHLERETH has a chance to be the closer of the future, but first he'll need to cut down on the walks.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (PITTSBURGH-DETROIT) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Pirates-Tigers Preview* ========================
By JORDAN GARRETSON STATS Writer
Pittsburgh (30-19) at Detroit (27-20), 1:08 p.m. EDT
The Detroit Tigers have generally gotten the better of Francisco Liriano throughout his career, while Justin Verlander has stifled the Pittsburgh Pirates.
But Liriano has been dominant thus far in his tenure with Pittsburgh. Conversely, Verlander would like to recapture his own usual dominance.
The two face each other Monday as the Pirates visit the Tigers in the opener of a four-game series.
The Pirates (31-19) agreed on a deal with Liriano (3-0, 1.00 ERA) in December, but a broken right arm suffered in a freak accident delayed his debut for the club until May 11. The left-hander has been tough on opponents since, yielding two runs over 18 innings while striking out 25.
Liriano struggled historically against the Tigers, going 5-7 with a 5.93 ERA. But he was nearly untouchable his last time out, fanning nine in seven innings of a 1-0 win over the Cubs on Wednesday.
Poor command has sometimes plagued Liriano during his career, but his walk rate of 3.0 per nine innings is his lowest since 2010 when he won AL Comeback Player of the Year with Minnesota.
"I think I work hard in the offseason, location-wise with my fastball and everything is working so far," Liriano said. "Pitching is all about location so when you can locate your pitches, you have better results."
Liriano isn't the only pitcher rolling lately for the Pirates, whose pitchers own a 2.25 ERA over the last 13 contests. Pittsburgh claimed its 13th victory in 15 games Sunday with a 5-4 win at Milwaukee, improving to a season-best 12 games above .500.
"We are getting a little bit better," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We did some good things today, and we probably complicated the game for ourselves a couple different times as well. But we were able to play through it. We got on top and we stayed on top."
Verlander (5-4, 3.66) will try to follow the act of Max Scherzer, who improved to 7-0 in Detroit's 6-1 victory over Minnesota on Sunday, the fifth win in six games for the Tigers (28-20).
In three career starts against Pittsburgh, Verlander is 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA and two complete games. But he's sputtered in his last three outings, yielding 17 runs over 12 2-3 innings.
He gave up five runs and 10 hits in five innings of an 11-7 victory at Cleveland on Wednesday, though he had to wait through a 62-minute rain delay to record his final two outs.
Verlander admitted to working too quickly in the fifth, trying to close out the inning before play was halted, but he surrendered a three-run homer.
"I kind of rushed a little bit and ended up trying to get some quick outs, because I knew (the rain) was coming," he told the team's official website. "Made some bad pitches, got hurt."
Andrew McCutchen was 2 for 5 Sunday and is 17 for 39 (.436) over his last nine games, but is 2 for 11 off Verlander. Russell Martin is 5 for 12 versus the right-hander.
Victor Martinez is 11 for 24 with five doubles against Liriano, while Miguel Cabrera is 9 for 26 with eight walks.
The Pirates are 5-10 all-time in Detroit but have won six of eight in the series in Pittsburgh, where the teams will play Wednesday and Thursday.
|Last Updated: 9/20/2014 4:59:56 AM EST|