Locke has been pretty dependable since his call-up, but has had back-to-back rocky outings against the Rox and D-Backs his last two times on the hill, giving up five homers in the two games. The southpaw's command has been lacking, missing the strike zone and elevating pitches, so his control will be key tonight.
The Bucco southpaw is 0-2 with a 3.55 ERA against the Fish in four career starts, with 21 K in 25 IP. The guy to watch out for is, as always, Giancarlo Stanton who has gone 6-for-9 with two homers and a double in their matchups.
Koehler took a tough loss against the Reds last time he climbed the hill, charged with just two unearned runs over seven-plus innings in a game that swung on a blocking the plate call. The righty is much better at home with 5.79 ERA in his last seven road outings. Koehler compiled a 7.20 ERA in losing both of his starts against Pittsburgh last year.
The Marlins have won eight of their last 12 games, but it's not due to thier offense, which has been held to three or less runs in six of their last seven games. Walking a school of Fish and not catching the routine ball is pretty much the only way the Marlins can put up big numbers outside of Giancarla Stanton going off, and hopefully the Pirates won't be helping them out so much tonight.
The lineup: Josh harrison 3B, Greg Polanco RF, Russ Martin C, Ike Davis 1B, Starling Marte CF, Travis Snider LF, Jordy Mercer SS, Michael Martinez 2B and Locke P. Well, at least Russ is back, but it's been a long time since a Pirate lineup hasn't had Cutch, The Kid or Pedro in it.
The game starts at 7:05 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
- How odd is it to not have Andrew in the lineup? Cutch has played in 843 of Pittsburgh’s 869 games since making his big league debut on June 4th, 2009, and in that time, he ranks second in the NL in games played behind Hunter Pence's 853 contests.
- Jordy is also slowly becoming an iron man; he's made 40 straight starts since June 20th.
- Justin McGuire of TSN isn't exactly buying Tony LaRussa and the D-Back's explanation for plunking Cutch.
- Gerrit Cole's velocity dropped noticeably after the fourth inning of his rehab start at Indy last night, and he admitted that his arm didn't recover quickly the last outing he pitched, so his return is looking iffier and iffier as the season heads to the wire. He's scheduled to work another side session and at least another rehab game after that.
- Ex-Bucs: Nyjer Morgan was released by the Indians.