Game 41: Bucs vs. Rockies

The hit parade is in town this weekend in the form of the Colorado Rockies. Thankfully, the parade doesn’t come equipped with a great earned run average, so the Pirates will look to continue their hot streak. First pitch tonight is scheduled for 7:05 at PNC Park.

The Rockies have surprised many people so far on the season and come into this game at an even 20-20. With all the talks swirling around the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Giants, its Colorado who is in 3rd right now and just 3.5 games back. They are in the top 5 in almost every offensive category there is, as rookie Trevor Story helps Nolan Arenado lead the way. Story and Arenado combine for 93 hits, 25 home runs, 64 RBI’s, and 57 runs. They have certainly been a force of a tandem in the N.L. this season.

The Rockies do struggle mightily when it comes to pitching, however. For the season, their team ERA is a 5.00, which is 2nd worst in the N.L only behind the Cincinnati Reds. Tonight, they will be putting Eddie Butler on the mound. The youngster has a current 4.74 ERA, and owns a career 5.83 ERA in 114 innings. It is safe to say he is no Jake Arrieta, which is a great sigh of relief to all Pirate fans. Butler, is actually pitching somewhat effective this season with a 16/3 K/BB ratio. He faced the Pirates once already this season out of relief when Pittsburgh teed off on Jon Gray. He pitched for 2.1 innings giving up one run and two hits while striking out four.

For the Pirates, Gerrit Cole will be making his 8th start of the season and his second against the Rockies as well. Cole is not only coming off of his best start of the season, but possibly for his career. In a game he most certainly should have completed, he pitched 8 innings, while striking out seven and allowing just 3 baserunners. His season ERA is at a 3.05 and he is looking the part of a big time Ace after a semi slow start.

While Starling Marte was off on paternity leave welcoming his new born baby, Tiana, Gregory Polanco stole the doubles lead away from him. The red hot, Gregory Polanco, now has 16 doubles on the season and is absolutely raking. As well as the Rockies offense has been, the Pirates offense can certainly match it. In the past four games, Polanco has nine hits, four doubles, a triple, and a homer. That is an astounding six extra base hits on nine total hits.

With the way the bullpen has pitched all season, look for Cole to try and push for 8 innings once again to give the ball over to Mark Melancon for the save, or non save. Whatever happens, let please let Melancon pitch over anybody else in that pen!!

Pirates Lineup:

  1. Jaso 1B
  2. McCutchen CF
  3. Polanco RF
  4. Marte LF
  5. Cervelli C
  6. Freese 3B
  7. Harrison 2B
  8. Mercer SS
  9. Cole P

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