That’s the Buccos I love to see. Getting that starting pitcher out of the game early. That’s exactly how the Buccos have been successful all season, that’s the recipe for this offense.
Now the Pirates get to go for the series win and they won’t even have to use a Sunday lineup. Pedro Alvarez had a day off yesterday, Russell Martin had a day off yesterday, the bullpen didn’t overtax themselves. And of course they have their fearless leader A.J. Burnett going this afternoon.
Check out this awesome post I found.
If you talk to many Pirates fans Burnett is having a down season. The fact of the matter is that it’s not true. He is being hit with the same thing that seems to be hitting Andrew McCutchen. They are both having good years but people aren’t recognizing it.
I think there are two reasons for that.
1. It’s just expected now. Everyone knows that these are top level performers.
2. Other people are carrying some of the load. Pedro Alvarez is having an All Star season and Francisco Liriano is pitching like a Cy Young candidate. People aren’t giving them the credit because they aren’t forced to carry the team.
What we’re not talking about is the fact that A.J. has a career best ERA right now with the third best WHIP in his career.
All of Burnett’s numbers are better than his career numbers.
The record sucks, but that’s really not on him. It’s mostly on the fact that he’s getting just 3.2 RS/G. and just 2.7 RS/IP. You aren’t going to win a lot of games that way.
His last outing is a perfect example. The Pirates did win the game, which is what matters but A.J. got a no decision after throwing up a fine outing.
See, A.J. basically takes righties out of the game. That’s the key to his success.
Well, that and PNC Park.
Burnett has most recently seen the Rockies in 2011. Before that it was way back in 2004!
For the Rockies it’ll be Juan Nicasio. Nicasio isn’t so good. He gives up lots of hits and lots of homers.
His last outing against the Braves was a freaking disaster.
As you can see though he can put up a really nice outing every now and then. He threw seven innings of two hit ball against the Marlins before that dreadful outing and on July 12th he threw seven innings of three hit shutout ball against the Dodgers.
That said he only throws a quality start in 30% of his games and his average gamescore is 47.1. Below average. The Rockies are 9-11 when Nicasio starts.
Contrary to the myth that all Rockies pitchers are better on the road Nicasio will be the second pitcher in a row the Rockies put out there who is actually worse on the road. If Jorge De La Rosa was any indication on the accuracy of those stats today should be fun.
His lefty/righty splits really aren’t that far apart. Take note of how close the OPS is compared to the average though. That BAbip comes up a little bit and lefties are going to hit him pretty hard. He already has a hard time with his walk to strikeout numbers against lefties. Maybe Garrett Jones and Pedro Alvarez can fix those numbers.
His only career outing against the Bucs came last year. It was kind of a weird outing because the Pirates had no problem racking up hits. They just had a major problem scoring runs. Familiar, eh? In fact the one run was scored on a homer by El Toro.
The Rockies did end up winning that game 2-1, the first game of a doubleheader in which Chris Resop got the loss after a dominant performance by James McDonald. Charlie Morton beat Jhoulys Chacin in the second half of the doubleheader with an equally dominant performance. Do you remember the days when Charlie Morton and James McDonald did that? Gave us seven innings of one run ball? Please come back to us guys.
First Pitch: 1:35 PM EST
Where To Watch: Root Sports, MLB.TV, Root Sports (Colorado)