|PITTSBURGH ( BURNETT )|
ST LOUIS ( KELLY )
|909||PITTSBURGH||+110||Ov 7.5,-115||-110||Ov 7.5,-115|
|910||ST LOUIS||-120||Un 7.5,-105||+100||Un 7.5,-105|
|vs Right-handed Starters||67-46||+22.5||47-62||3.8||0.244||0.303||3.5||0.234||0.299|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||-0.1||3-4||3.7||0.272||0.328||3.7||0.256||0.296|
|vs Right-handed Starters||64-38||+15.2||53-46||5.1||0.275||0.332||3.7||0.247||0.304|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-3||4-2||2.4||0.187||0.238||4.6||0.261||0.336|
|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)||5-2||W||-140||8.5 ev||U||11||8||2||8||8||0|
|9/3/2013||COLE(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||GALLARDO(R)||4-3||W||-115||8 un||U||8||8||0||7||4||0|
|9/4/2013||LIRIANO(L)||@ MILWAUKEE||PERALTA(R)||3-9||L||-150||7.5 un||O||12||12||1||13||7||0|
|9/6/2013||BURNETT(R)||@ ST LOUIS||KELLY(R)|| |
|9/7/2013||LOCKE(L)||@ ST LOUIS||WAINWRIGHT(R)|| |
|9/8/2013||MORTON(R)||@ ST LOUIS||WACHA(R)|| |
|9/9/2013||COLE(R)||@ TEXAS||PEREZ(L)|| |
|9/10/2013||LIRIANO(L)||@ TEXAS||DARVISH(R)|| |
|9/11/2013||BURNETT(R)||@ TEXAS||GARZA(R)|| |
|9/12/2013||LOCKE(L)||CHICAGO CUBS||ARRIETA(R)|| |
|9/13/2013|| ||CHICAGO CUBS|| || |
|8/30/2013||MILLER(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||LIRIANO(L)||0-5||L||115||7 un||U||4||5||1||9||8||0|
|8/31/2013||LYNN(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||BURNETT(R)||1-7||L||125||7.5 un||O||6||5||0||13||9||0|
|9/1/2013||KELLY(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||JOHNSON(L)||7-2||W||-115||8 un||O||12||8||0||6||6||0|
|9/2/2013||WAINWRIGHT(R)||@ CINCINNATI||LATOS(R)||2-7||L||110||7.5 un||O||4||3||0||12||10||0|
|9/3/2013||WACHA(R)||@ CINCINNATI||BAILEY(R)||0-1||L||130||8 un||U||2||4||0||5||6||0|
|9/4/2013||MILLER(R)||@ CINCINNATI||ARROYO(R)||5-4||W||105||8 un||O||12||7||0||10||9||1|
|9/5/2013||LYNN(R)||@ CINCINNATI||CINGRANI(L)||2-6||L||140||8 un||P||5||4||0||10||11||0|
|9/11/2013||LYNN(R)||MILWAUKEE|| || |
|9/12/2013||KELLY(R)||MILWAUKEE|| || |
|9/13/2013|| ||SEATTLE|| || |
|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.
|ST LOUIS: HITTING: Alienate and trade your talented young centerfielder for bullpen scraps and a middling, impending free-agent starter. Justify your ludicrous pitching changes by blaming crowd noise and your innocent bullpen coach'and you too could win a World Series! This was Tony La Russa baseball. But he's gone now, as is the all-world Albert Pujols. SS RAFAEL FURCAL liked his short stint in the Show Me State enough to sign up for more. OF CARLOS BELTRAN will hit second after an impressive 2011 campaign during which he produced solid numbers in pitchers' parks amidst weak lineups. 2Bs TYLER GREENE and DANIEL DESCALSO are the latest plucky 'gamer' to play infield at Busch. Resuscitated slugger 1B LANCE BERKMAN shifts to a much more suitable defensive position. OF MATT HOLLIDAY's OPS remains as strong as ever. 3B DAVID FREESE will never have to buy a drink in Missouri again after his postseason heroics. C YADIER MOLINA is a defensive whiz behind the plate and an underrated hitter. OFs ALLEN CRAIG and JON JAY are more suited to platoon roles, but Jay will be starting in center on Opening Day. |
STARTING PITCHING: His stuff isn't nearly what it used to be, and he's more than earned his reputation within the game as a towering crybaby. But on the mound, CHRIS CARPENTER remains ruthlessly effective when he's healthy. But he'll miss the first couple of months of the 2012 campaign due to shoulder problems. ADAM WAINWRIGHT should be ready to go on Opening Day, and has shown every reason to think he'll be his old brilliant self. JAIME GARCIA cannot sustain a sub-2.00 ERA for a full season. He's a mid-rotation starter, but one of the better ones in all of baseball. Did KYLE LOHSE really register a 1.17 WHIP over an entire season? Really? He just doesn't miss enough bats to keep that going. JAKE WESTBROOK stayed healthy for a full season again, which is a relief given his past dalliances with the DL. He's an innings eater who's capable of another dozen wins. LANCE LYNN gives the Cardinals enviable depth in the rotation. He'll probably slide back to the bullpen once Carpenter returns. Uber-prospect SHELBY MILLER could be a second-half call-up.
RELIEF PITCHING: It doesn't look pretty when JASON MOTTE winds up and delivers a pitch, but in the end, results are results. The converted catcher has finally nailed down the closer role that many predicted would be his a few years ago. The only way he loses it this time is if he hurts himself with that painful delivery. FERNANDO SALAS can more than hold his own if that happens. He'll slot into the eighth-inning role, but he provides more of the pitching depth that is a hallmark of this Cardinals team. KYLE McCLELLAN, like Lynn, is serviceable both in relief or in the rotation. But he's better in the former role.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (PITTSBURGH-ST LOUIS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Pirates-Cardinals Preview* ===========================
By ALAN FERGUSON STATS Writer
Pittsburgh (81-58) at St. Louis (80-59), 8:15 p.m. EDT
The Pittsburgh Pirates have more significant goals than securing their first winning season in two decades, and a victory in their next game would also help them move closer toward accomplishing one of those feats.
While trying for their 82nd win, the Pirates will seek to pad their NL Central lead by getting past red-hot Joe Kelly and the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night in the opener of the final series between the clubs this season.
Pittsburgh (81-58) has already stopped its streak of 20 consecutive losing seasons - the longest in North American professional sports history - but needs one more victory to clinch its first winning campaign since 1992.
That season included the franchise's most recent division title. The Pirates head into this series with a 1 1/2-game edge over St. Louis (80-60) and three-game advantage on Cincinnati in the Central.
"We are trying to win every day," center fielder Andrew McCutchen said. "Every game is important from the first to the last. So we don't treat it any differently from any other game. We go out every day to win. That is what we are going to do in St. Louis."
The Pirates have won 10 of 16 meetings this season and took two of three at home last weekend. A.J. Burnett (7-9, 3.09 ERA) won the middle game of that series Saturday, allowing one run over seven innings in a 7-1 victory.
"That's a pretty good lineup, so I'm just trying to keep the ball down, get ahead ... then expand the strike zone a bit," Burnett told the team's official website. "But you can't let down against that lineup, because that's when they get you."
Burnett is 3-0 with a 2.59 ERA in five starts against St. Louis this season but has a 6.10 ERA in two at Busch Stadium. He gave up five runs in a season-low 4 1-3 innings in a 6-5 loss there Aug. 15.
Burnett will likely need a better outing Friday as he'll be opposed by Kelly, who is 7-0 with a 2.16 ERA in 10 starts since joining the rotation July 6.
Kelly (7-3, 2.82) is 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA against the Pirates during that stretch, and he gave up one run over six innings in a 7-2 victory in Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Kelly's most recent victory is among only two in the last eight games for St. Louis, and the Cardinals enter this series after dropping three of four in Cincinnati. They're batting .185 with 17 runs during that 2-6 stretch and had five hits in a 6-2 loss Thursday.
"It's the time of the season," manager Mike Matheny said. "There are times when you don't hit. This has lasted a little longer than you'd like, but that could be a sign that we're ready to click and take off."
Allen Craig, who leads St. Louis with 97 RBIs, will likely miss this series because of an ailing foot. The Cardinals, though, caught a break Thursday when X-rays did not reveal a fracture.
Matt Carpenter will try to make up for Craig's absence by improving his .400 career average (8 for 20) against Burnett. The second baseman is batting .391 (9 for 23) in five games this month and .407 (11 for 27) in his last six matchups with Pittsburgh.
The recently acquired Marlon Byrd is batting .417 in his last seven games against St. Louis.
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 1:22:01 AM EST|