Thursday, July 9, 2015

Jeff v Carlos Martinez; Lineup & Notes

Today's Game - Jeff Locke (5-4, 4.15) opens the big set against Carlos Martinez (9-3, 2.70). Jeff had a career game last outing, tossing an eight inning two-hitter and retiring the last 19 batters. His last five outings have been nice, and the Bucs have taken a pair of 1-0 wins during that span. He's 2-2 with a 3.82 ERA in six career starts against SD, with a no-decision earlier in the year and a split last season. It also helps that St Louie hits southpaws about 40 points lower than they do righties, managing just a .230 BA and .660 OPS against lefties.

Jeff Locke looking to spin some ol black (and gold) magic tonight (photo Grante Jefferies/Bradenton Herald)

Martinez slid out of the bullpen and into Shelby Miller's rotation spot this year, and responded quite well, averaging 9.6 K/nine (although also 3.8 BB/nine) and is in contention for a fan's vote AS spot. The biggest question about him is if he can handle the load in the dog days - he worked in the bullpen last year and has never had a pro season where he has gone north of 104 IP. That's the only question mark for the flame throwing youngster; he was a Top #40 Prospect from 2012 until he hit the show, and answers to "Baby Pedro." He's not had much luck against Pittsburgh with an 0-2/6.23 lifetime slash and a 7-5 loss suffered in May.The game starts at 7:05 and will be aired on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

Today's Lineup - Gregory Polanco RF, Neil Walker 2B, Cutch CF, Jung-Ho Kang 3B, Fran Cervelli C, Pedro 1B, Jordy Mercer SS, Sean Rodriguez LF, Locke P.

No change; Starling is in uniform but not in the lineup.

  • The only two teams in baseball with 50 wins are the Bucs and the Cards. Makes us wonder if the two best teams in baseball by record have ever hooked up at PNC Park before?
  • The Pirates have won five in a row; the Cards are in a stretch where they've dropped 6-of-10.
  • Home sweet home: In the last 24 games played against the Cardinals at PNC Park, the Pirates have gone 17-7. The Bucs have gone 7-0-1 in their last eight series played against St. Louis at PNC Park, dating back to August of 2012.
  • Andrew will become the first Pirate since Andy Van Slyke (1992-93) to make two straight starts in the All-Star Game.
  • More Cutch notes: Since the start of the 2010 season, Cutch leads all NL players with 198 doubles; the 24 he has this campaign top the senior circuit.
  • El Toro Time? Pedro has 14 home runs and 44 RBI against the Cardinals since the beginning of the 2012 season, which are the highest totals put up against the Redbirds over that span by any player in the majors.

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