Yesterday’s loss was not only frustrating it was really boring. No flow, pure frustration, mixed with a touch of rage.
That might be overstated, but when the Pirates collapsed last year a huge hallmark was their complete inability to beat bad teams.
I’M NOT SAYING THEY ARE COLLAPSING.
I guess playing up to good competition is a good attribute, the Pittsburgh Steelers won a Superbowl playing down to poor competition. In the playoffs all the competition is good.
The good news is that the next two games will be pitched by guys I have a feeling are gonna step up.
Francisco Liriano pitches tonight. If I wasn’t so busy waiting for the other shoe to inevitably drop with him I’d say he has to be a top five Cy Young candidate. Not that I would ever say such a thing about a guy who struggles every time I praise him.
He sucks. He blows. He can’t win.
Keeping the ball in the park, giving up few hits, striking out a ton. What more could you ask from the guy?
His last outing was dazzling, his outing before? Electrifying. He has put that poor first outing back from the break in the rear-view mirror and is just continuing on the path of greatness.
Four of his last five outings were 7+ innings, including that awesome complete game shutout.
He is throwing up a quality start in 67% of his outings and has an average gamescore of 61.7, well above the average of 50.
Most important the Pirates are playing .733 ball when Liriano pitches.
He’s basically been unbeatable at home.
Liriano’s sole matchup with the Rockies came in 2010, a loss, but not a nice outing.
That looks eerily similar to a typical Pirate pitcher’s losing line.
Okay, maybe that was long ago.
Of course he signed with the Rockies, started out good but proceeded to pitch just 13 games in 2011 and 2012. Something that would have really hurt the Pirates. That’s the risk with big money free agents though. The Pirates actually dodged quite the bullet.
But he’s back now, and pitching fine. Of course the Pirates will face the Rockies top three. Why would this series be any different than every other series?
It appears De La Rosa has learned how to pitch a little bit instead of relying on raw stuff to blow past guys. Just about everything is lower than his career average. Hits, walks, strikeouts, homers, WHIP. All down.
He got his ass kicked against the Braves though. I mean, big time.
I’m not sure if it’s circumstances or design but he has only thrown 100 or more pitches three times. He has gone eleven straight games without reaching the 100 pitch mark. That leads to some shorter outings. He has only gone seven innings four times. He hasn’t gone more than that at all.
Because of that his quality start percentage is 59% and his gamescore is 52.9. The Rockies still play good ball when he is pitching though with a .636 winning percentage, but he only 5.7 IP per game.
Obviously then the key is to get that pitch count up and feast on that crappy bullpen. The Rockies bullpen ranks 23rd in ERA and 25th in WHIP. They’ve also pitched the fifth most innings in baseball, just 0.1 innings less than the Pirates.
As you can imagine De La Rosa can be tough on lefties, I’d definitely sit Doubleplay Garrett Jones tonight.
A little oddity for Jorge is that he actually pitches better at Coors Field than on the road.
De La Rosa has been nothing special, or nothing terrible, against the Buccos.
He has been pretty bad at PNC Park.
First Pitch: 7:05 PM EST
Where To Watch: Root Sports, MLB.TV, Root Sports (Colorado)