As Bryce Harper blasted the game winning homer yesterday I was surprised at how okay I was with it. Not that I wanted the Pirates to lose, but they really had no business winning that game. It’s extremely hard to sweep a team, especially in four games so that loss didn’t really hurt too bad.
That’s a different feeling than prior years when every loss seemed to crush a small piece of my soul. That’s the benefit of believing in your team, every loss doesn’t shred small, sometimes large, pieces of your heart.
A team the Pirates should be able to sweep are the Marlins. Even Marlins fans know exactly what this team is.
The beauty of living in a so-so bilingual country is that you can still get away with things like that.
We might possibly be able to catch a glimpse of some players the Pirates may target at the deadline.
Jeff Locke picked up right where he left off in his first start back. He has become a stopper in some ways for the Pirates. No matter what’s happening around the Bucs you get stability with Locke starts. I never would have believed that at the beginning of the season or even as it went on. I’ve been a Locke fan but he’s exceeded my wildest expectations.
We’re talking about a guy that has given up three or less hits in ten of his nineteen starts. That’s freaking impressive.
Locke has never faced the Marlins or any of their players. Advantage Locke.
There are three pretty big problems with Alvarez. Number one is that he doesn’t strike anyone out.
That’s unlikely to get a whole lot better as he didn’t exactly strike out a ton of guys in the minors either.
He also gives up a ton of hits, as you can see above.
The third and potentially biggest problem is that he wears some crazy rec spec type glasses.
The Marlins acquired Alvarez with Anthony DeSclafani, Justin Nicolino, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jake Marisnick and Jeff Mathis for Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes and some money.
That might be the biggest, most weirdly named traded ever. I’m not sure either team even got that much better.
Alvarez was ranked #5 in the Blue Jays system after 2009 but that was a bit of an anomaly as he was ranked #29 in 2008 and #17 after 2010 by Basball America.
Alvarez hasn’t been so bad and has actually had some pretty good starts.
Some of that can be attributed to being new to the NL. Most of these guys haven’t seen him and he’s had just one full season as a starter prior.
Thus far in his career lefties seem to kill him.
I will say this. Alvarez is a good sinkerball pitcher with good velocity. His stuff is good, but he needs contact. That helps explain the hits as we well know with Charlie Morton. He throws it almost exclusively when facing left handed hitters. So they will see a heavy helping of it.
Russell Martin is hitting .200 over ten PA against him.
First Pitch: 7:10 PM EST
Where To Watch: Root Sports, MLB.TV, FS-F