Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Locke v Saunders at Safeco

Jeff Locke (6-1, 2.01) and Joe Saunders (5-7, 4.48) get it on tonight in Seattle. Locke has been all that; hits and runs have been tough to put up against him, and he's a darkhorse to earn a spot in the All-Star game. Saunders is 2-0 with a 3.15 ERA in three career starts against the Pirates, and has been pretty sharp in his last five or six starts, pitching to a sub-2.00 ERA. He's been strong at Safeco and features a fastball/changeup/breaking ball trifecta that seems to give Buc batters fits.

The game starts at 10:10 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

Pirate lineup: Starling Marte LF, Jordy Mercer SS, Andrew McCutchen CF, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Russell Martin C, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Tony Sanchez DH, Neil Walker 2B and Brandon Inge RF.

Gaby is 6-for-12 with a homer against Saunders, and Inge is the only RH that can play a pasture position against the lefty. JT is still out, but began his rehab stint with Indy this week.

Mariners lineup: Endy Chavez CF, Nick Franklin 2B, Kyle Seager 3B, Kendrys Morales DH, Raul Ibanez LF, Jason Bay RF, Justin Smoak 1B, Mike Zunino C and Carlos Triunfel SS.

Young gun Zunino is a new addition since the last time the Bucs faced Seattle, and it's always good to see Jay Bay in the lineup.

  • Today starts a quick two-game set against Seattle. The Pirates have won four straight and five of their last six. A fifth straight win tonight would be a season high. Seattle has lost 3-of-5, but won their last two. After the series, the Bucs are off, then on Friday open a six-day home stand against the Brewers and Phils.
  • The Bucs split a previous two-game set against Seattle at PNC Park in early May, with Jeanmar Gomez beating Aaron Harang 4-1 and AJ Burnett losing to Felix Hernandez 2-1.
  • The beat gang reports that the Pirates are keeping J-Mac on the DL with recurrent shoulder pain; he'll see Dr. Andrews at a future date TBD. That solves that sticky wicket for a minute, and it probably is a legit move. His velocity has dropped noticeably over the past two years.
  • Pedro is tied for third all-time among Bucco third basemen in total HR with Bobby Bonilla with 69; Richie Hebner leads the pack with 120.
  • Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects has a post on Baseball Prospectus' Top Fifty Prospects (behind a subscriber wall). FIt includes Bucco kiddies Jameson Taillon, Gregory Polanco and Tyler Glasnow, with Luis Heredia and Alen Hanson not too far behind.
  • WV outfielder Barrett Barnes was named the Sally League Player of the Week, hitting .350 with two HR and nine RBI in four games.
  • Jamestown Jammer first baseman Danny Collins, this year's 13th round draft pick, was named the NYPL Player of the Week after batting .370 with four HR in seven games.

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