Locke has spun eight straight consecutive quality starts and is an entirely different pitcher this season after his nibble away philosophy led to a second half meltdown last year. He has no record in two career starts against the Rox with a 3.08 ERA.
Matzek, 23, is a fastball/slider guy with work-in-progress off speed pitches, and his problems have come with control issues and RH hitters. His walk rate is fine at 2.8/nine, but his command within the strike zone has been problematic. His OPS split is .842 to .513, so loading up with righties seems to be the thing when he's on the hill.
Neither pitcher was around for the decision when they hooked up last weekend in a game the Pirates won with a late rally by a 5-3 score.
The lineup: Josh Harrison LF, Jordy Mercer SS, Cutch CF, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Neil Walker 2B, Russ Martin C, Gregory Polanco RF, Brent Morel 3B and Locke P. Pedro's sitting again, and we still have two more lefties coming up. Marte being hurt put Clint in a lineup bind; we're still wondering why Jaff Decker isn't filling the outfield spot, freeing up Josh to play third. Then again, maybe Pedro's knee flared up after a small bit of action last night. Either way, it's pretty far from an ideal lineup.
The game starts at 8:10 and will be broadcast by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
- Jim Bowden of ESPN reports that the Pirates and Phils are still working on an AJ deal, and are trying to thrash out both the player return and how much contract the Phillies will eat. The market is moving; Jake Peavy, who the Pirates were associated with to a slight degree, was traded today to SF.
- Justin Broyles of Rant Sports likes the match between Bartolo Colon and the Pirates.
- Russell Martin walked three times Friday night and has reached base safely seven times in his last eight plate appearances. Martin leads all MLB catchers with a .420 OBP and has reached base safely in 55 of his 62 games this season.
- Neil Walker has reached base safely in 22 consecutive games, the longest active streak among all Major League players.
- Pat Lackey of WHYGAVS looks at the evolving Pirate offense and the tie between OBP and wRC+.
- The team announced that Gerrit Cole will make a rehab start on Monday at Indy.