|PITTSBURGH ( COLE )|
TEXAS ( DARVISH )
|971||PITTSBURGH||+160||Ov 8,-105||+165||Ov 8,+105|
|972||TEXAS||-170||Un 8,-115||-175||Un 8,-125|
|vs Right-handed Starters||67-49||+19.4||49-63||3.8||0.243||0.302||3.6||0.236||0.301|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-3.6||4-3||3.4||0.239||0.301||6.7||0.305||0.357|
|vs Right-handed Starters||53-44||-4.7||33-57||4.3||0.256||0.309||3.9||0.250||0.312|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-4.4||3-4||3.6||0.261||0.309||5.3||0.303||0.351|
|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)||8-12||L||-110||7.5 un||O||13||12||1||16||5||2|
|9/7/2013||LOCKE(L)||@ ST LOUIS||WAINWRIGHT(R)||0-5||L||150||7.5 ov||U||3||4||1||6||8||0|
|9/8/2013||MORTON(R)||@ ST LOUIS||WACHA(R)||2-9||L||120||7.5 ev||O||4||4||1||12||8||2|
|9/9/2013||COLE(R)||@ TEXAS||DARVISH(R)|| |
|9/10/2013||LIRIANO(L)||@ TEXAS||PEREZ(L)|| |
|9/11/2013||BURNETT(R)||@ TEXAS||GARZA(R)|| |
|9/12/2013||LOCKE(L)||CHICAGO CUBS||RUSIN(L)|| |
|9/13/2013||MORTON(R)||CHICAGO CUBS||ARRIETA(R)|| |
|9/14/2013||COLE(R)||CHICAGO CUBS||BAKER(R)|| |
|9/15/2013||LIRIANO(L)||CHICAGO CUBS||WOOD(L)|| |
|9/16/2013|| ||SAN DIEGO|| || |
|8/26/2013||BLACKLEY(L)||@ SEATTLE||SAUNDERS(L)||8-3||W||-130||8.5 ev||O||11||6||0||5||2||0|
|8/27/2013||HOLLAND(L)||@ SEATTLE||IWAKUMA(R)||4-3||W||-130||7 un||P||10||8||0||9||9||0|
|8/28/2013||PEREZ(L)||@ SEATTLE||HERNANDEZ(R)||12-4||W||105||7 un||O||17||7||0||9||8||1|
|9/2/2013||HOLLAND(L)||@ OAKLAND||STRAILY(R)||2-4||L||100||7.5 un||U||8||11||2||6||6||0|
|9/3/2013||PEREZ(L)||@ OAKLAND||COLON(R)||5-1||W||115||7.5 un||U||13||12||0||11||9||1|
|9/4/2013||DARVISH(R)||@ OAKLAND||PARKER(R)||4-11||L||-120||7 un||O||9||5||0||12||7||1|
|9/6/2013||GARZA(R)||@ LA ANGELS||WILSON(L)||5-6||L||-105||7.5 ov||O||9||7||1||10||3||0|
|9/7/2013||HOLLAND(L)||@ LA ANGELS||RICHARDS(R)||3-8||L||-135||8 ev||O||9||6||4||11||8||1|
|9/8/2013||TEPESCH(R)||@ LA ANGELS||VARGAS(L)||4-3||W||-110||8.5 ov||U||9||8||0||9||8||0|
|9/16/2013|| ||@ TAMPA BAY|| || |
|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.
|TEXAS: HITTING: 2B IAN KINSLER will lead off again. A few less at-'em balls and he's an MVP candidate. SS ELVIS ANDRUS is coming along offensively, but his poor SB% could lead to fewer attempts. Injuries are the only thing that will keep OF JOSH HAMILTON out of the MVP discussion. He'll likely start declining at age 35, but DH MICHAEL YOUNG can't help but put up numbers batting cleanup in this lineup. 3B ADRIAN BELTRE was unstoppable in Arlington. Like Hamilton, he's an MVP candidate if healthy. Injuries are piling up for OF NELSON CRUZ, who still has monster power but doesn't run as much anymore. C MIKE NAPOLI is MLB's best offensive catcher and will play some 1B on 'off' days. Because their lineup is stacked, Texas can play defensive-minded/offensively limited 1B MITCH MORELAND. And because Ron Washington would prefer to play Hamilton in left, speedy CF CRAIG GENTRY looks to have the edge over DAVID MURPHY for the starting job in center. Cuban import LEONYS MARTIN will start the season in Triple-A, but JULIO BORBON could earn a significant OF role. |
STARTING PITCHING: COLBY LEWIS can overpower when he's on, but as a flyball pitcher in cozy Arlington he's going to have a handful of ugly days. The much-ballyhooed YU DARVISH brings a deep arsenal of pitches and a durable frame from Japan. He's probably the best Japanese arm to ever cross the Pacific. Lefty MATT HARRISON solidified his rotation spot. He has topped out as a respectable No. 3-type starter. DEREK HOLLAND has top-of-the-rotation upside. Consistency has been an issue, but hopefully another year and some big postseason moments helped to cure that. The big story is NEFTALI FELIZ moving to the rotation. He was considered a future ace in the minors, but the transition might not be easy. His K/BB ratio plummeted last year and his flyball tendencies could spell disaster in Arlington. Keep in mind the Rangers made a successful closer-to-ace switch with C.J. Wilson. Top prospect MARTIN PEREZ could be an option in the second half.
RELIEF PITCHING: Veteran JOE NATHAN was brought in and handed the closer's job. He struggled in his first year back from Tommy John surgery, but most pitchers who've had the procedure don't come all the way back until their second full season. If Nathan falters, MIKE ADAMS could be next in line. He had no trouble transitioning from pitcher-friendly San Diego in the National League to hitter-friendly Arlington and the A.L.'s superior bats. KOJI UEHARA would also be in the closer discussion if Nathan falters, but he was unhappy about being traded from Baltimore and faltered for the Rangers late last year. ALEXI OGANDO got a huge boost from his defense and his bullpen before a late-season collapse. He threw by far a career-high in innings; better stamina would allow him to take the next step and possibly rejoin the rotation.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (PITTSBURGH-TEXAS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Pirates-Rangers Preview* =========================
Pittsburgh (81-60) at Texas (80-61), 8:05 p.m. EDT
Manager Clint Hurdle is excited to bring his Pittsburgh Pirates to the place where he was previously employed, but he knows they'll have to play much better than they did over the weekend.
The Pirates have lost four straight and are 0-6 all-time in Arlington heading into Monday night's opener of a three-game set against a Texas Rangers team that has lost four straight starts by major league strikeout leader Yu Darvish.
Hurdle spent 2010 as the Rangers' batting coach, helping the franchise reach its first World Series before he was hired to manage Pittsburgh (81-61) the next season.
"I'm absolutely looking forward to it," Hurdle told the Pirates' official website. "I made a lot of friends. The makeup of the club has changed quite a bit - but there are still some stalwarts there."
The Pirates will be trying to regroup after being outscored 26-10 in three games in St. Louis - falling out of first place in the NL Central and hampering their chances for home-field advantage in a possible wild-card game against Cincinnati.
"We weren't sharp in any particular area of the game all weekend," Hurdle said. "They were much sharper than us across the board. It's very difficult to win a game when you are not functioning."
Pittsburgh is 1 1/2 games out of first place - the same margin Texas (81-61) trails Oakland in the AL West. The Rangers are 10-2 in the all-time series, winning every home matchup, but the Pirates come to town with the NL's best interleague mark at 12-5.
"They're pretty much in the same situation as we are," Hurdle said. "I have a lot of respect for what they've done, but we also respect what we've done."
The Pirates will get their first look at Darvish (12-7, 2.91 ERA), who is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in his last four outings. He gave up five runs over five-plus innings and matched a career high with a season-worst six walks in an 11-4 defeat Wednesday at Oakland.
The right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA in five career interleague starts. Darvish, whose 240 strikeouts are the franchise's second-most to Nolan Ryan's 301 in 1989, is trying to avoid losing three straight starts for the first time.
The Pittsburgh hitter with the most experience against him is former Minnesota slugger Justin Morneau, who is 1 for 5 with a homer versus him and will return to Arlington - where he played his last game with the Twins on Aug. 30.
Darvish will need to provide length after the bullpen worked 5 2-3 innings in relief of Nick Tepesch in Sunday's 4-3 victory over the Angels. The Rangers rallied with two runs in the seventh inning for their second win in seven games.
"It was a very big win. We needed it bad," manager Ron Washington said. "They took the lead, but we didn't give in. We just kept fighting and were able to make some good things happen. It's only one win, but it was huge."
Pittsburgh rookie starter Gerrit Cole (6-7, 3.74) is 0-2 with a 3.26 ERA in his last three outings. The right-hander gave up two runs over six innings Tuesday in a 4-3 win at Milwaukee - the last victory for Pittsburgh.
|Last Updated: 9/19/2014 2:51:57 AM EST|