Sure the road trip was a bit disappointing, but the Pirates got through a very tough part of the schedule, probably the toughest, without really hitting anything and they are 5-7. They have a better record than Chicago, Houston, and Cincinnati and are just one game behind Milwaukee. They also have played zero division games over that span, so they really can make up some games.
Four of their next seven series will be divisional series. Two of those will be against the St. Louis Cardinals, the team that is currently leading the division by four games.
The Cards are 9-3, tied for second the in the National League in wins with the Dodgers. All three of the pitchers the Pirates will face are 2-0. This won’t be easy, but you can’t blame the schedulers for this. The Pirates must beat the Cardinals to be competitive.
Since the Penguins won Root Sports will not be carrying the Pirates game.
First Pitch: 7:05
Where to Watch: MLB.TV, FS-M (St. Louis)
Lance Lynn, RHP (24)
Lynn is in his first full season as a starter after making 18 appearances (2 starts) last year. Lynn has picked up two wins, as previously stated going 6.2 IP in his first outing and 5.1 in his second. He threw 100 and 88 pitches respectively so it looks like there is a shot at working the count and getting him to throw a lot of pitches.
Lynn only faced the Buccos once last season, in relief. He went two innings and gave up one earned on two hits. He walked and K’d two at PNC Park.
He wasn’t bad on the road, but he was clearly worse.
He did pick up his only win and his only save on the road though.
Not a whole lot of experience against Pirates hitters.
Charlie Morton, RHP (28)
Morton’s start against the Giants was not good. We can all accept that. Still he is coming off hip surgery, and that was his first start back. He was dominant in his last rehab appearance so I think Morton deserves a ton of slack.
A positive? He didn’t walk anyone.
Another reason I’m not too worried? The Giants are loaded with switch hitters. Morton faced 22 batters in that start, EVERY single one of them batted lefty. Morton’s struggles with lefties have been well documented, but it’s very very rare that you have a whole lineup full of lefties. Couple that with a kind of wonky spring due to injury and you have a recipe for a bad first start.
Morton was the struggle against the Cardinals last season.
I would like to blame it on Albert Pujols but I can’t, because Ground Chuck kind of dominated him!
So I guess he won’t miss him.
It wasn’t all bad though as he did pick up a win last year.
His career has been dismal against the Cardinals.
If I may make a suggestion, walk Lance Berkman.