Game 19: The Diamondbacks Rubber Match

This afternoon’s game will be a matchup of two lefties in Francisco Liriano vs Robbie Ray. After witnessing a hit parade in the first matchup, yesterdays was more of a pitchers duel. I am not even going to try and predict how this game will turn out. What I do know is that this game will be played at Chase Field with the first pitch being thrown at 4:10 PM.

Pittsburgh really needs to find a way to start clicking on all cylinders. They cannot rely on getting by with having these occasional scoring bursts to successfully win. Their bullpen has constantly hurt them, while they are ranked #13 for team average with runners in scoring position. Even though this is middle of the road, the fact that they are hitting so well and constantly have runners in scoring position hurts them.

Liriano will take the mound owning a 4.11 ERA for the season. He has an alarming 17/14 K/BB rate, but those are the runs you get with a pitcher like Liriano. After a dominant start on Opening Day against the Cardinals, Liriano has looked a bit shaky and actually missed a start due to tightness. He will look to get back on track today facing the Diamondbacks. For his career he has a 3.20 ERA in 25 innings against Arizona.

The offense will be a bit light in the contest. John Jaso, Josh Harrison, and Francisco Cervelli will all be sitting today to get the day off. Jaso will typically sit vs lefties anyways as he has a lifetime .177 batting average against them. Jordy Mercer and Gregory Polanco bring a hot bat into this game as they’re each hitting .500 and .364 in the past week. Also, Mercer carries a career average of .328 vs lefties. Pittsburgh is going to need to bring the lumber today and gets those runners past home plate to finally find success.

Robbie Ray is have a tremendous start to his season as he is 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA. Those numbers are a bit misleading though. He himself holds a 17/11 K/BB ratio. This should be something the Pirates can capitalize on, though their struggles play in to Ray’s struggles and it could be another day of stranding baserunners for these two clubs.

Pirates Lineup:

  1. Mercer SS
  2. McCutchen CF
  3. Freese 3B
  4. Marte LF
  5. Rogers 1B
  6. Rodriguez 2B
  7. Polanco RF
  8. Stewart C
  9. Liriano P

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