Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bucs v Braves

The Pirates will have LHP Jeff Locke on the mound tonight, and he'll face Atlanta’s RHP Julio Teheran. Neither has been a ball of fire so far this season, so it should be an interesting matchup. Despite Teheran's 7.36 ERA, the Braves have the MLB's best team mark of 1.77. On the other side, the Pirates are hitting .305 in their last seven games. The contest starts at 7:05 and will be aired by Root Sports and The Fan 93.7.

Pirate lineup: Starling Marte LF, Travis Snider RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones 1B, Neil Walker 2B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Russell Martin C, Clint Barmes SS and Jeff Locke P.

You should have this lineup memorized by now. The Bucs are seeing lots of righties (Paul Maholm will be the only southpaw the Braves toss at the club), and this order has done a pretty good job against them.

Braves lineup: B.J. Upton CF, Jason Heyward RF, Justin Upton LF, Chris Johnson 1B, Dan Uggla 2B,  Ben Francisco 3B, Andrelton Simmons SS, Gerald Laird C and Julio Teheran P.

It's a good lineup. The Braves have already put 68 runs up in 12 games. The Pirates have scored 51 times in 14 contests. 
  • Starling Marte is 8-of-13 in the first inning with a walk and a .615 BA. He's scored five times in the opening frame.
  • Derick Hingle of USA Today writes about the evolution of Travis Snider into a contact hitter.
  • Michael Barr of Fangraphs doesn't like what he's seeing in Pedro and predicts a platoon role in his future.
  • The Pirates bullpen ERA is 2.10, second in the majors to Atlanta, which sports a 1.47 mark.
  • The Pirates have won six of eight; the Braves had a 10 game winning streak broken yesterday, losing 1-0 to KC.
  • BTW, Neal Huntington isn't the waiver wire junkie he once was; this year he's way down on the list. Alex Anthopoulos of the Jays blows away the competition, while Brian Cashman of the Yankees is suddenly diving into bargain bins this season.
  • Charlie Morton will throw three innings tonight in Bradenton. Francisco Liriano and Jose Contreras will move up a level and toss Saturday for Altoona.
  • Lefty Kris Johnson takes the hill for Indy against Louisville today while Stolmy Pimentel makes his third start for Altoona. The righty hasn't been scored on in his first two outings. OF/1B Andrew Lambo continued his hot start with the Curve with three hits and three RBI yesterday.

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