|PITTSBURGH ( LIRIANO )|
TEXAS ( PEREZ )
|929||PITTSBURGH||+110||Ov 8,-110||+125||Ov 8,-115|
|930||TEXAS||-120||Un 8,-110||-135||Un 8,-105|
|vs Left-handed Starters||14-12||+0.7||14-11||4.3||0.262||0.320||3.8||0.249||0.318|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1||3-4||3.3||0.242||0.301||5.7||0.280||0.333|
|vs Left-handed Starters||28-17||+3.4||20-25||5.0||0.278||0.342||4.1||0.242||0.304|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-4.1||3-4||3.3||0.251||0.303||4.9||0.283||0.332|
|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)||1-0||W||155||7.5 un||U||6||4||0||4||5||0|
|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||BURNETT(R)||SAN DIEGO||STULTS(L)|| |
|9/17/2013|| ||SAN DIEGO|| || |
|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||GARZA(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||COBB(R)|| |
|9/17/2013|| ||@ 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 (81-61) at Texas (81-61), 8:05 p.m. EDT
Francisco Liriano was hit hard in his last outing and now must try to regroup against the team with baseball's best record against left-handed starters.
He'll be opposed by Martin Perez, who is enjoying the longest win streak by a Texas Rangers starter in eight seasons.
Liriano handed Perez his first big league defeat the last time these southpaws met heading into Tuesday night's matchup between the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates and Rangers.
Liriano (15-7, 2.98 ERA) owns the most victories by a Pirates left-hander since Zane Smith had 16 and John Smiley finished with 20 in 1991. He failed in a bid to add to his career-high total last Wednesday, allowing seven runs over three innings in a 9-3 defeat at Milwaukee.
"I was overthrowing sometimes, too, trying to get more sink on the ball," he told the Pirates' official website. "If your location is good, there's a pretty good chance you'll get better results."
The Rangers (81-62) are 28-16 against left-handers, but Liriano is 4-1 with a 3.19 ERA in six starts against them. He has posted a 1.66 ERA in winning the last three.
Liriano gave up one run over 6 2-3 innings in a 5-1 victory at Texas on July 6, 2012, with Minnesota. Perez (9-3, 3.41) suffered the loss, yielding four runs in six innings in his second career start.
It's clear that Perez is a much better pitcher now. He improved to 6-0 with a 2.76 ERA in his last six outings by surrendering one run in seven innings in last Tuesday's 5-1 victory at Oakland.
The six-start win streak is the longest by a Ranger since Kenny Rogers won eight straight April 27-June 5, 2005.
"He's grown leaps and bounds really," manager Ron Washington said. "It's maturity. The experience he had last year up here helped him tremendously. He realized he can pitch up here and he just goes out there and pitches."
Perez, who owns a 2.20 ERA at home compared to 4.04 on the road this year, finished with a 5.45 ERA in 12 appearances in 2012.
"I just tried to learn last year and this year too," he said. "Every day you learn something new."
The only Pittsburgh hitter Perez has faced is Justin Morneau (1 for 3).
Liriano has more extensive experience against the Rangers, enjoying success against Elvis Andrus (0 for 11) and Ian Kinsler (2 for 12).
These starters will be hard-pressed to fare better than the ones that opened this three-game set Monday. Gerrit Cole outdueled Yu Darvish as Pittsburgh (82-61) ended a four-game slide with a 1-0 victory that clinched the franchise's first winning record since 1992.
"As big as this win is for the city of Pittsburgh and the organization, and as big a deal as the media is going to make out of it, we still have a lot of baseball to play," said second baseman Neil Walker, a Pittsburgh native. "We've got a lot of games we need to win, we're in a tight race."
The Pirates moved within one game of first-place St. Louis in the NL Central and one game in front of Cincinnati in the race for home-field advantage in a possible wild-card game.
The Rangers have dropped six of eight to fall two games behind AL West leader Oakland.
Texas left fielder Jim Adduci exited in Monday's fifth inning, when he sustained a right biceps strain while striking out.
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 1:18:05 AM EST|