After last night’s 7-2 loss in the biggest ump show of the year, the Pirates get right back to work tonight, in the second game out of a three game set with Atlanta.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will be between Jeff Locke and Mike Minor. Minor is having some significant success so far this year, he’s currently 7-2 with an ERA of 2.48 and a WHIP of 0.922. Minor’s best year of his career was in 2012, when he went 11-10, with an ERA of 4.12. Minor is having more success than he’s ever had in his career, but he has struggled in his career against the Pirates. In two starts against the Pirates, Minor has a record of 0-1, and an ERA of 6.00, over 12 innings.
Locke is heading back to Atlanta tonight, to play against the team that originally drafted him back in 2006. The Braves traded Locke to the Pirates, along with Charlie Morton and Gorkys Hernandez for Nate McLouth in 2009. Locke has been great so far this year, posting a record of 5-1, an ERA of 2.25, and a WHIP of 1.172. While Locke’s peripheral numbers show that him primary ones may be somewhat unsustainable, he currently holds a streak of 19 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings.
Locke should see his success continue against the Braves tonight. The Braves have a lineup that’s stacked with good hitters, but Locke has done great on the road this year, posting an ERA of 1.45 when away from PNC Park. This is a bit of a statistical anomaly since PNC Park is notoriously good to lefty pitchers, but the plain facts are Locke’s road numbers are better than his home numbers.
Starling Marte had a good night last night, after an extended rough stretch over the last couple of weeks, he went 2-4 last night, including a perfectly placed bunt single.
Gaby Sanchez and #Alwayssmoothe Clint Barmes both came through with two out RBI hits last night as well.
The Pirates lineup for tonight’s 7:10 start looks like this: