|PITTSBURGH ( MORTON )|
MILWAUKEE ( THORNBURG )
|905||PITTSBURGH||-135||Ov 9,-105||-130||Ov 8.5,-115|
|906||MILWAUKEE||+125||Un 9,-115||+120||Un 8.5,-105|
|vs Right-handed Starters||65-45||+22||46-60||3.8||0.242||0.302||3.4||0.233||0.298|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-2.3||4-3||3.9||0.277||0.317||3.4||0.268||0.321|
|vs Right-handed Starters||47-51||+0.5||49-47||4.1||0.254||0.306||4.3||0.258||0.312|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-0.2||3-3||3.3||0.259||0.320||4.3||0.289||0.325|
|8/19/2013||LIRIANO(L)||@ SAN DIEGO||CASHNER(R)||3-1||W||-135||6.5 un||U||5||2||0||6||7||1|
|8/20/2013||BURNETT(R)||@ SAN DIEGO||ROSS(R)||8-1||W||-120||6.5 un||O||9||6||1||6||7||1|
|8/21/2013||COLE(R)||@ SAN DIEGO||KENNEDY(R)||1-2||L||-130||7 ev||U||4||6||0||11||7||0|
|8/22/2013||LOCKE(L)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||CAIN(R)||10-5||W||115||7 un||O||13||6||0||8||8||0|
|8/23/2013||MORTON(R)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||BUMGARNER(L)||3-1||W||120||6.5 un||U||7||6||0||8||6||0|
|8/24/2013||LIRIANO(L)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||LINCECUM(R)||3-6||L||-140||6.5 ov||O||7||8||0||11||10||1|
|8/25/2013||BURNETT(R)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||VOGELSONG(R)||0-4||L||-130||7.5 un||U||3||3||0||9||8||1|
|8/30/2013||LIRIANO(L)||ST LOUIS||MILLER(R)||5-0||W||-125||7 un||U||9||8||0||4||5||1|
|8/31/2013||BURNETT(R)||ST LOUIS||LYNN(R)||7-1||W||-135||7.5 un||O||13||9||0||6||5||0|
|9/1/2013||JOHNSON(L)||ST LOUIS||KELLY(R)||2-7||L||+105||8 un||O||6||6||0||12||8||0|
|9/2/2013||MORTON(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||THORNBURG(R)|| |
|9/3/2013||COLE(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||GALLARDO(R)|| |
|9/4/2013||LIRIANO(L)||@ MILWAUKEE||PERALTA(R)|| |
|9/6/2013||BURNETT(R)||@ ST LOUIS||KELLY(R)|| |
|9/7/2013||JOHNSON(L)||@ ST LOUIS||WAINWRIGHT(R)|| |
|9/8/2013||MORTON(R)||@ ST LOUIS||WACHA(R)|| |
|9/9/2013|| ||@ TEXAS|| || |
|8/19/2013||ESTRADA(R)||ST LOUIS||MILLER(R)||5-8||L||+140||8 ev||O||11||11||0||16||9||1|
|8/20/2013||LOHSE(R)||ST LOUIS||LYNN(R)||6-3||W||+115||8 ov||O||10||8||0||8||8||1|
|8/21/2013||GORZELANNY(L)||ST LOUIS||WESTBROOK(R)||6-8||L||+105||9.5 un||O||14||14||1||12||5||1|
|8/23/2013||GALLARDO(R)||@ CINCINNATI||BAILEY(R)||6-4||W||180||8 un||O||9||8||1||10||8||2|
|8/24/2013||PERALTA(R)||@ CINCINNATI||ARROYO(R)||3-6||L||182||8.5 un||O||8||5||1||14||9||0|
|8/25/2013||ESTRADA(R)||@ CINCINNATI||REYNOLDS(R)||3-1||W||140||8.5 ov||U||7||7||1||5||5||0|
|8/27/2013||LOHSE(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||LOCKE(L)||7-6||W||125||7 ov||O||14||8||0||15||9||0|
|8/28/2013||GORZELANNY(L)||@ PITTSBURGH||MORTON(R)||1-7||L||135||7.5 un||O||7||10||1||13||6||2|
|8/29/2013||GALLARDO(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||COLE(R)||4-0||W||150||7.5 un||U||10||3||0||6||5||2|
|8/30/2013||PERALTA(R)||LA ANGELS||WEAVER(R)||0-5||L||+115||8 ov||U||6||13||0||8||4||1|
|8/31/2013||ESTRADA(R)||LA ANGELS||WILLIAMS(R)||5-6||L||-125||8.5 ev||O||12||7||0||12||5||1|
|9/1/2013||LOHSE(R)||LA ANGELS||WILSON(L)||3-5||L||-110||8 ov||P||4||4||0||11||6||1|
|9/6/2013||ESTRADA(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||RUSIN(L)|| |
|9/7/2013||LOHSE(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||ARRIETA(R)|| |
|9/8/2013||THORNBURG(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||WOOD(L)|| |
|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.
|MILWAUKEE: HITTING: It helped when the Brew Crew had Prince Fielder in the fold, but there's still lots of firepower here now that he's moved on. 2B RICKIE WEEKS starts it off, with some of the game's best bat speed. OF NYJER MORGAN doesn't hit the ball hard, but when it drops in he's off to the races. OF RYAN BRAUN has put up Hall of Fame numbers since day one. Now the big question is whether he doped to do it. OF COREY HART has improved his batting eye and is no longer an on-base liability. He's also one of the few Brewers hitters who plays even average defense. 3B ARAMIS RAMIREZ is on the down side of his career, but remains productive. Backup TAYLOR GREEN should see decent time behind him though. IF MAT GAMEL is slated to start at first; nobody knows if he'll be any good. He sure as heck won't be Prince Fielder. C JONATHAN LUCROY was effective in a middle-of-the-road kind of way. Fourth OF CARLOS GOMEZ still can't hit. SS ALEX GONZALEZ will play every day and has decent pop for a middle infielder. |
STARTING PITCHING: The Brewers' front three is among the most formidable in baseball. YOVANI GALLARDO has improved his peripherals every year as a starter. High pitch counts used to chase him early in games, but not anymore. One day he'll win a Cy Young. ZACK GREINKE was a product of bad defense, bad luck, and an unusually high home run rate. In the second half, he was a beast. SHAUN MARCUM pulled a reverse Greinke, starting brilliantly then fading down the stretch. Not too surprising, given the durability issues that have followed Marcum throughout his career. Most teams would still kill to have him as their No. 3 starter. People laughed when the Crew signed RANDY WOLF for three years and $30 million, but he's been a highly dependable innings-eater in both seasons as a Brewer. The same holds for CHRIS NARVESON. He's the very definition of a back-end guy, but as fifth starters go, he's pretty good.
RELIEF PITCHING: JOHN AXFORD and his Long John Silver's facial hair are proof positive that you don't need to spend a fortune on a closer. Axford was an undrafted retread when Milwaukee signed him. The list of 'proven closers' with fat contracts that Axford has outpitched each of the past two years is a deep one. FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ ruined the Brewers' offseason plans by accepting arbitration. He's a decent bet for some cheap saves, and still brings it with that crazy body-flinging delivery. But the team may still deal him at some point this season. KAMERON LOE has made a reasonably smooth transition to full-time reliever.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (PITTSBURGH-MILWAUKEE) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Pirates-Brewers Preview* =========================
Pittsburgh (79-56) at Milwaukee (59-76), 2:10 p.m. EDT
Charlie Morton finally ended his woes against the Milwaukee Brewers last week by outdueling Tom Gorzelanny, but Milwaukee has made a change to its rotation to avoid a repeat of that scenario.
Tyler Thornburg will instead start Monday, looking to give the NL Central-leading Pittsburgh Pirates more trouble in the opener of a three-game set at Miller Park.
Milwaukee (59-77) won two of three last week at Pittsburgh (79-57). The lone defeat came when Morton (6-3, 3.14 ERA) allowed one unearned run over 6 2-3 innings in a 7-1 victory Wednesday.
Morton had been 0-4 with a 6.25 ERA over his first seven starts against the Brewers.
"I think it's something people like to talk about because there's been some consistency in that regard but really what the team is doing really well is not thinking about yesterday or two weeks ago, it's the game today," Morton said. "If it's the Brewers, it's the Brewers, so be it. This is a different year anyway."
The right-hander improved to 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA in his last five starts.
He won't have to face Gorzelanny, who yielded four runs over 5 1-3 innings to cap a three-start stretch in which he surrendered 16 runs over 13 2-3 innings.
That convinced Milwaukee that Gorzelanny won't get a chance to compete for a rotation spot in 2014, and plan to use him exclusively out of the bullpen.
Manager Ron Roenicke instead is turning to Thornburg (1-0, 1.94), who has yielded two hits over 5 2-3 scoreless innings of relief against the Pirates this year. Thornburg will make his first start versus Pittsburgh.
The right-hander, who turns 25 later this month, has posted a 0.50 ERA in three starts this year, failing to receive a decision in any of them despite allowing only three runs - one earned - over 18 innings. Curiously, he went 0-9 with a 5.79 ERA in 15 starts for Triple-A Nashville.
"I try to tell people, relieving and starting are two such different things," Thornburg told the Brewers' official website. "They're both pitching, but they're completely different mindsets, different ways of pitching."
Pittsburgh starts a nine-game trip tied with St. Louis for the division lead. The Pirates won two of three at home against the Cardinals over the weekend, failing to seize a two-game edge in the Central with Sunday's 7-2 defeat.
Justin Morneau made his Pittsburgh debut Sunday, going 1 for 3 with a walk as he batted sixth in the lineup and played first base. The longtime Minnesota slugger was acquired Saturday.
"I'm excited by this opportunity, of doing something every day to help this team win, to do whatever it takes to get in the playoffs," he told the Pirates' official website.
Manager Clint Hurdle batted Neil Walker at leadoff Sunday for the first time. Walker went 1 for 4 to extend his hitting streak at home to 12 games, and now will try to improve on a .213 road average that is one of baseball's worst marks.
The Brewers began this six-game homestand by being swept in a three-game set by the Angels. Carlos Gomez, hitting .371 against Pittsburgh, had a two-run homer in Sunday's 5-3 loss.
|Last Updated: 9/3/2014 1:45:03 AM EST|