Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Locke v Minor In Duel of Young Lefties & Creative Lineup

Jeff Locke (5-1, 2.25) takes on Mike Minor (7-2, 2.48) in a battle of lefties. The Pirates haven't seen many, kind of an oddity with Garrett Jones, Pedro and The Kid in the lineup, though do they get their share later in the game. Minor is the first southpaw starter the Bucs have gone against since May 18th.

Locke seems to improve each game; he tossed his best outing last time out against the Tigers. As a sidebar, the lefty is making his first start at Atlanta against the team that drafted him in second round of the 2006 Draft before dealing him to Pittsburgh in 2009 as part of the Nate McLouth deal. An even better sidebar is his 19-1/3 inning scoreless streak.

Minor has tossed quality starts in each of his six May outings with a stingy 0.92 WHIP and not lost a game since April 28th. So look for lots of pitching tonight from a pair of young (they're both 25) southpaws. The game starts at 7:10 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan

Pirate lineup: Starling Marte LF, Jordy Mercer 2B, Andrew Cutchen CF, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Russell Martin RF, Mike McKenry C, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Clint Barmes SS and Jeff Locke P.

Russell Martin in right? Walker down tonight after Cutch was down yesterday? Pedro against a lefty? Clint is at his creative best today.

Braves lineup: Andrelton Simmons SS, Jason Heyward RF, Justin Upton LF, Freddie Freeman 1B, Brian McCann C, Chris Johnson 3B, Dan Uggla 2B, B.J. Upton CF and Mike Minor P.

Pretty handy to have the same lineup against lefties and righties; we thought we might see Evan Gattis today.

  • If you're curious, Russell Martin has played the outfield professionally, back in 2003 in the sally League. He played right once and left once, and never caught a fly ball.
  • Tests on Jeanmar Gomez didn't indicate any structural damage to his arm, so he'll just be shut down for a spell. Still no word on how the team plans to handle his turn in the rotation yet. Charlie Morton isn't ready, and they could just skip it entirely with an off day Thursday.
  • Jeff Locke’s 19.1 scoreless innings streak is the longest by a Pirate pitcher since Charlie Morton pitched 24 straight innings of shutout ball in 2011
  • Jared Stonesifer of Yahoo Sports wonders: Morton or not to Morton, that is the question.
  • Jason Grilli was named MLB Delivery Man of the Month for May, the second month (out of two) he's been named the top reliever. He converted all 12 of his save chances during the merry month.
  • RHP Phil Irwin, who the Bucs recalled just to place on the 60-day DL, has an inflammation of the ulnar nerve. The conservative treatment is rest and treatment, although surgery is sometimes required.
  • Jameson Taillon takes the bump for Altoona tonight.
  • Bradenton LHP Eliecer Navarro was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week after throwing a seven-K shutout.
  • Six West Virginia players were selected to play in the South Atlantic (Sally) League All-Star Game. 1B Stetson Allie, OF Josh Bell and 2B Dilson Herrera have been selected as starters while LHP Orlando Castro, RHP Tyler Glasnow and UT Walker Gourley also earned spots on the squad.
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