Friday, August 22, 2014

Locke v Gallardo, Lineup, Travis, Stretch Run, Injuries, EL-All Stars

Jeff Locke (4-3, 3.73) opens the series tonight against Yovani Gallardo (8-6, 3.32).

Locke is coming off his most promising start in quite a spell against the Nationals. The Bucs, with Charlie Morton down, are going to need him to shake off his command issues, get down and aggressive in the strike zone and pitch like All-Star Jeff. He's not seen the Brewers very often, and hasn't had much luck against them when he has. Locke has a 1-2/4.55 line in five career starts against the Brew Crew, but had a good outing against them in June.

Gallardo is coming off a 3-2 win over Clayton Kershaw, but despite that has been a bit inconsistent this year. That win was only the second time this campaign that he's strung together back-to-back victories. Yovani pretty much thrives against the Bucs, though. He's put together a 12-4/2.57 slash in 24 career games against the Pirates and already beaten them once this season - a 1-0 victory at PNC Park against Locke.

The lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Travis Snider LF, Cutch CF, Neil Walker 2B, Russ Martin C, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Starling Marte LF, Jordy Mercer SS and Locke P. No surprises.

Pittsburgh is 3-10 against the Brewers this year and 13-53 at Miller Park since 2007 (1-5 this year). But the Pirates are about as healthy as they've been in a while, so it's time to get out of survival mode, kick it into gear and start winning series again in the final five weeks.

The game starts at 8:10 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
  • Travis Snider enters tonight's contest with an 11-game hitting streak.
  • The race: The Pirates are six games behind the Brewers in the NL Central race. The wild card has them behind the eight-ball, too. The Bucs are 4-1/2 games behind the Cards for the top spot and two games behind the Giants for the final spot.
  • Injury list: Clint Barmes played in back-to-back rehab games at Indy and played his first full nine-inning contest yesterday as his recovery continues w/o hitch (except for that 1-for-11 batting line). Stolmy Pimentel pitched an inning for Altoona, using nine pitches to get three outs with a whiff. Charlie Morton, who has a sports hernia, will be out indefinitely.
  • RHP Adrian Sampson and C Elias Diaz were selected to the Eastern League season-ending All-Star squad today. Both the former Altoona Curve players have been promoted to Indy.

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