Thursday, September 24, 2015

Jeff v Chad Bettis; Lineup & Notes

Today's Game - Jeff Locke (8-11, 4.48) works getaway day against Chad Bettis (8-5, 4.46). Jeff's had a disappointing season, and right now sits as the sixth man in the rotation; he may be pitching for a back-end spot in 2016 as he alternates between good and bad outings. Despite his spotty work, tonight will be his 30th start of the year, a career high. He's 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA v the Rox, and hasn't seen them yet this year.

Bettis profiles as a mid-to-back end guy for the Rox, and Colorado has played well behind him, winning 12-of-18 games that he's started. He's pitched better since returning from the DL a month ago, and has given up just one run in his last 12 innings. Bettis hasn't gone against Pittsburgh this year, and is 0-1/7.37 when he has in the past, although that's over just a seven inning sample. The game starts at 3:10 and will be on Root Sports & 93.7 The Fan.

As expected, A-Ram and Gregory are being held out with the Cub series looming. The only surprise is Jaff getting the start in El Coffee's place; we thought it would be Lunchbox. Stew's in too, giving Fran a night-to-day game break.
  • In the first three games of this series, Starling Marte has gone 9-for-15 with six RBI and now has a four-game hitting streak.
  • El Coffee has a hit in five straight games and has scored in 11 of the past 14 matches. Also, no official word on the results of his ugly slide last night, but he seems to be no worse for the wear.
  • Cutch has been walked 13 times in his last five games. He's only had 12 official at bats during that span.
  • Seems only fitting: in a bit of a mix 'n' match quirk, last night's starting lineup consisted of the same position players (in a different order) as Opening Day.
  • After sputtering along at the start of the month, the Bucs have taken five games in a row and are 13-10 for September.
  • Pittsburgh is one victory shy of posting its 10,000th franchise win since officially joining the NL in 1887. That's the Pirates party line; if you count the five years they were in the American Association as the Alleghenys, they won #10,000 in 2013.
  • Deadline magic: don't overlook the pitching NH brought in at the deadline - JA Happ is 6-2/2.28 in nine starts, Joe Blanton 4-0/1.88 in 17 outings, and Joakim Soria is 0-0/2.38 with five holds (one blown) in 25 appearances.
  • The Pirates will put limited number of tickets for the post-season on sale at 10AM Monday.

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