Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cole-Lincecum, Lineup, Morton, Walkoffs, Pirate Pitching Notes...

Well, you couldn't have two games with more different dynamics - the first game was a surging slugfest that took five plus hours, the second a pitching gem completed well under three hours, both nail biters in their own way.

Gerrit Cole (2-2, 3.69 ERA) takes on Tim Lincecum (2-1, 5.12 ERA), weather permitting. And they should be able to get it in; the storm should move through the area before lunchtime. It's a rematch of sorts. Cole made his MLB debut against Tim Lincecum and the Giants at PNC Park on 6/11/2013 and won an 8-2 decision .

Cole has gone without a win in his last fours starts, a couple of which he could have easily won with a little offensive help, although he's been having a bit of a problem with the long ball. Lincecum has lost both velocity and command from his heyday, and the key is to make him throw a strike. He's given up six bombs in 31-1/3 IP, so it should be worth the wait.

The lineup: Travis Snider RF, Neil Walker 2B, Cutch CF, Pedro 3B, Starling Marte LF, Ike Davis 1B, Jordy Mercer SS, Chris Stewart C and Cole. Josh is out of the leadoff spot; maybe Clint's trying to get Travis a game before the league rules on his upcoming suspension.

The game is scheduled to start at 12:35 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

  • Josh Harrison has gone 6-for-16 with five runs scored in the past four games as a leadoff hitter and RF'er.
  • Charlie Morton's eight-inning outing last night was the first time a Pirates starter pitched through the sixth inning since April 25th, when Gerrit Cole went seven innings against the Cards.
  • Last night's victory marked Pittsburgh’s fifth walkoff win of the season, tops in the Majors. Nine of the Pirates’ 13 wins this season have been decided by one run, tied with the Giants for the most in MLB.The Pirates 17 one-run decisions are the most in the league.
  • Sevens wild: Morton plunked his seventh batter last night and Neil Walker was plunked for the seventh time; both are NL highs. Bucco batters overall have been hit by a pitch a league-leading 21 times this season.
  • Pittsburgh pitchers have picked off six baserunners this season, tied for first among all MLB teams along with Philadelphia and Tampa Bay. It's a big improvement, probably brought about by the renewed emphasis on controlling the opponent running game finally kicking in. Bucco pitchers had a total of one pickoff last season and five in 2012.
  • The Pirate bullpen is 10-5 this season.
  • Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects reports that Andrew Lambo's bruised thumb has landed him on the minor league DL.

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