|PITTSBURGH ( LIRIANO )|
CINCINNATI ( LEAKE )
|955||PITTSBURGH||+105||Ov 7.5,-110||+110||Ov 7.5,-115|
|956||CINCINNATI||-115||Un 7.5,-110||-120||Un 7.5,-105|
|vs Right-handed Starters||46-28||+23.6||28-44||3.7||0.240||0.299||3.2||0.220||0.289|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-2||0-7||2.7||0.237||0.294||2.3||0.200||0.260|
|vs Left-handed Starters||17-14||+1||12-17||3.8||0.249||0.318||3.5||0.221||0.280|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1.5||2-4||4.0||0.266||0.341||3.6||0.245||0.303|
|7/5/2013||LIRIANO(L)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||SAMARDZIJA(R)||6-2||W||-135||7.5 un||O||13||13||0||4||4||0|
|7/6/2013||MORTON(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||JACKSON(R)||1-4||L||-115||9 un||U||5||5||1||7||6||0|
|7/7/2013||BURNETT(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||VILLANUEVA(R)||3-4||L||-145||9 ov||U||9||9||2||8||7||1|
|7/12/2013||MORTON(R)||NY METS||HEFNER(R)||3-2||W||-145||7.5 un||U||6||8||0||9||7||0|
|7/13/2013||BURNETT(R)||NY METS||TORRES(R)||4-2||W||-170||7.5 un||U||10||8||0||8||10||0|
|7/14/2013||COLE(R)||NY METS||GEE(R)||2-4||L||-155||7.5 un||U||9||9||0||9||6||2|
|7/19/2013||LIRIANO(L)||@ CINCINNATI||LEAKE(R)|| |
|7/20/2013||BURNETT(R)||@ CINCINNATI||LATOS(R)|| |
|7/21/2013||LOCKE(L)||@ CINCINNATI||BAILEY(R)|| |
|7/22/2013||MORTON(R)||@ WASHINGTON||HAREN(R)|| |
|7/23/2013||COLE(R)||@ WASHINGTON||DETWILER(L)|| |
|7/24/2013||LIRIANO(L)||@ WASHINGTON||STRASBURG(R)|| |
|7/25/2013|| ||@ WASHINGTON|| || |
|7/26/2013|| ||@ MIAMI|| || |
|7/8/2013||BAILEY(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||LOHSE(R)||3-4||L||-125||8 ov||U||11||9||1||11||9||0|
|7/9/2013||CINGRANI(L)||@ MILWAUKEE||PERALTA(R)||0-2||L||-135||9 ev||U||3||4||0||4||4||0|
|7/10/2013||LEAKE(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||HELLWEG(R)||6-2||W||-165||9 un||U||9||8||0||4||4||1|
|7/11/2013||LATOS(R)||@ ATLANTA||HUDSON(R)||5-6||L||100||7.5 un||O||10||6||1||11||8||3|
|7/12/2013||ARROYO(R)||@ ATLANTA||MEDLEN(R)||4-2||W||120||7.5 un||U||10||9||0||4||3||0|
|7/13/2013||BAILEY(R)||@ ATLANTA||MINOR(L)||2-5||L||-115||7 un||P||7||6||0||11||7||0|
|7/14/2013||CINGRANI(L)||@ ATLANTA||TEHERAN(R)||8-4||W||-105||7.5 un||O||11||8||1||9||8||0|
|7/22/2013||ARROYO(R)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||LINCECUM(R)|| |
|7/23/2013||CINGRANI(L)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||KICKHAM(L)|| |
|7/24/2013||LEAKE(R)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||GAUDIN(R)|| |
|7/25/2013|| ||@ LA DODGERS|| || |
|7/26/2013|| ||@ LA DODGERS|| || |
|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.
|CINCINNATI: HITTING: 2B BRANDON PHILLIPS sparked the Reds offense after moving to the top of the order. But his free-swinging makes him a bad fit there. SS ZACK COZART played in only 11 games for the Reds before wrecking his non-throwing elbow, but it was still enough to convince the team they'd seen enough of PAUL JANISH in the starting role. 1B JOEY VOTTO keeps punishing pitchers. OF JAY BRUCE is in his gawky, teenage phase, but he's already emerged as a major power source. OF DREW STUBBS must cut down on his MLB-leading 206 strikeouts. He's out of the leadoff spot now, but those whiffs don't play well anywhere in the lineup. OF CHRIS HEISEY should get the starting nod in left now that Yonder Alonso is out of the picture. 3B SCOTT ROLEN is a permanent health question mark. His backup, JUAN FRANCISCO, swings for the fences. C DEVIN MESORACO is the most hyped catching prospect since Matt Wieters. RYAN HANIGAN will split squatting responsibilities with him. |
STARTING PITCHING: Considered a source of strength entering the 2011 campaign, the Reds rotation directly caused their undoing. The first step toward a remedy was trading for MAT LATOS, who began 2011 slow and got stronger as the year went on. The 24-year-old threw at least six innings with 5+ K in 16 of his final 17 starts (2.94 ERA). But that was in a much more pitcher-friendly environment. He has a decent career road ERA (3.57), and Cincy will surely give him much better run support than he received in San Diego. Last year's pitching problems began with BRONSON ARROYO, who gave up more home runs in a season than any pitcher in this millennium. He allowed more HR (46) than walks (45). JOHNNY CUETO was the one big bright spot; he hasn't maintained the strikeout rates he flashed early in his career, but he's All-Star caliber. HOMER BAILEY was a disappointment, going 9-7 with a 4.43 ERA. MIKE LEAKE actually pitched pretty well after he got his first taste of the minors to get his mechanics worked out.
RELIEF PITCHING: With Francisco Cordero flying the coop, and newcomer RYAN MADSON lost for the season with Tommy John Surgery, Cincinnati will use a closer-by-committee approach. The Reds gave up three players, including starter Travis Wood, to acquire SEAN MARSHALL, who should fit in nicely as a set-up man who's tough on both right-and left-handed batters. AROLDIS CHAPMAN is listed as the main set-up man for Marshall, but he missed out on winter ball and could be too raw to trust in the ninth inning. LOGAN ONDRUSEK is also capable of being a decent closer, with a big fastball.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (PITTSBURGH-CINCINNATI) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Pirates-Reds Preview* ======================
By JORDAN GARRETSON STATS Writer
Pittsburgh (56-37) at Cincinnati (53-42), 7:10 p.m. EDT
No team boasted a better pitching staff through the season's first half than the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Francisco Liriano's surprising resurgence was one of the biggest reasons why.
But for all that Liriano has done, he has failed to beat the Cincinnati Reds in both of his starts.
He hopes the third try proves more favorable Friday night at Cincinnati, where the Reds counter with Mike Leake, the winning pitcher in both of those games.
An equally tough rotation and bullpen has fueled the Pirates' major league-leading 3.07 ERA and a 56-37 record, their best All-Star break since 1991.
Pittsburgh's decision to sign Liriano (9-3, 2.00 ERA) to a one-year deal worth just $1 million guaranteed was seen as a low-risk investment, but it's one that's helped bolster the staff.
He's tied for seventh in the NL in wins despite making only 12 starts and his ERA would rank second if he threw enough innings to qualify. The left-hander's 32.5 swing-and-miss percentage is tied with Yu Darvish for baseball's best and his highest since 2006, his final season before Tommy John surgery.
"I'm just trying to learn how to go out there every fifth day and make pitches," said Liriano, who allowed four hits in seven innings while recording his fourth straight victory in a 5-0 win over Oakland on July 10.
He hasn't lost since a 4-1 defeat at Cincinnati on June 17, and his most recent loss prior to that was a 2-0 home setback to the Reds (53-42) on June 1. Liriano yielded only three runs with 17 strikeouts over 12 innings in those contests, but Leake (8-4, 2.69) was slightly better, limiting Pittsburgh to one run over 13 innings.
Leake won for the first time in four starts in his last outing prior to the break, giving up two runs and four hits over a season-high 8 1-3 innings in a 6-2 victory at Milwaukee on July 10.
He'll take on a Pirates offense looking to supply more run support, particularly with more clutch hitting. Pittsburgh's .230 batting average with runners in scoring position is the league's worst. More consistent offense could mean the difference between the team's first playoff berth in 21 years and another second-half flameout, which the Pirates are familiar with. Their 56-93 post-break record over the last two seasons is the third-worst in baseball.
"It shows we've got things we've got to work on," said Andrew McCutchen, who owns a team-leading .847 OPS and posted a 1.015 mark over his last 21 games before the break. "And that's all we're worried about."
A lack of timely hitting has also plagued Cincinnati more recently. The team's .218 average with runners in scoring position is the third-lowest in the majors dating back to May 29, a span in which the Reds went 20-23. They trailed St. Louis in the NL Central by 1 1/2 games prior to that stretch, and are now five games behind the Cardinals and four behind the Pirates.
Joey Votto, a career .347 hitter with runners in scoring position, is batting .256 in such situations since May 29.
Brandon Phillips, who drove in 10 runs over his last five games prior to the break, was 3 for 6 off Liriano earlier this season, while Russell Martin is 7 for 16 lifetime off Leake.
Pittsburgh leads the season series 6-4.
|Last Updated: 10/20/2014 10:05:51 AM EST|