Sunday, May 19, 2013

Locke v Harrell In Rubber Match

Jeff Locke (3-1, 3.15) and Lucas Harrell (3-4, 5.11) get it on to decide today's rubber match. The Bucs young lefty has gone too few innings and been a little wild overall this season, but has proved himself competent to hold a back end spot in the rotation and has taken a more aggressive game to the hill. He hasn't been very good against Houston, going 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA in two career starts, both last year.

Harrell's been hurt by a couple of very rough outings, but in six of his nine starts he's allowed two runs or fewer, so if the Pirates catch him on a good day, he can be a tough customer. The righty is 1-0/5.91 in two career starts against the Bucs. Like Locke, he doesn't generally get very deep into games, so this has the look of a becoming a bullpen battle.

The game starts at 1:35 and will be aired by Root Sports and The Fan 93.7.

Pirate lineup: Travis Snider LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones RF, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Mike McKenry C, Clint Barmes SS and Jeff Locke P. (Geez! The Bucs have a new lineup, too; Cutch's knee is bothering him, so Marte loses his day off - Marte, Snider, Jones, Sanchez, Walker, Alvarez,  McKenry, Barmes and Locke.)

Iron man Starling Marte gets a blow with a scheduled day off tomorrow, the same scenario Clint Hurdle used to get Cutch a couple of days of down time. McKenry is behind the dish, but he at least has a lefty on the hill today to give him a hand at controlling the running game.

Astro lineup: Brandon Barnes CF, Ronny Cedeno SS, Jose Altuve 2B, Chris Carter 1B, JD Martinez LF,  Carlos Corporan C, Jimmy Paredes RF, Matt Dominguez 3B and Lucas Harrell P. (Edit - late change:  Barnes, Altuve, Martinez, Carter, Corporan, Paredes, Dominguez, Gonzalez and Harrell. Cedeno is out.)

A little different look to the Houston lineup with a lefty on the bump.

  • Since the six-steal game against the Brewers, The Fort has been out early working on his mechanics with Tom Prince and Jeff Banister, including some reps at second to tweak his motion. We'll see if it works today.
  • Starling Marte has a five game hitting streak.
  • Yesterday was the first time the 'Stros came back to win after trailing through seven (1-26) and the first time Pittsburgh has lost after leading through seven (18-1).
  • Pittsburgh is off Monday before playing 16 games in 16 days, starting with Cubs Tuesday at PNC Park.

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