After a great series against the Cardinals with a disappointing finale, the Pirates will go into a three game set with the visiting Colorado Rockies. While the Pirates are a team on the rise, the Rockies are currently headed the opposite direction. They sit at 51-59 on the season, and have lost four straight, the last three to Atlanta by huge margins.
Game One: Jhoulys Chacin (9-5, 3.54) Vs. Gerrit Cole (5-4, 3.56): Dating back to July 9th, Chacin has recorded four consecutive starts in which he’s given up three runs or less. Chacin has a career record of 1-3 against the Pirates, with an ERA of 6.97. Cole is coming off of one of his better starts of the season, where he went seven innings and gave up three earned runs against Miami. His start before that against Washington was even better, seven innings of two hit, one run ball.
Game Two: Jorge De La Rosa (10-5,3.21) Vs. Francisco Liriano (11-4, 2.16): After a string of eight starts in which he gave up three earned runs or fewer, De La Rosa got knocked around in his last start, surrendering eight runs (five earned) on ten hits over five innings.In his career against the Pirates, De La Rosa is 3-2, with a 4.01 ERA. Liriano has been great all year, and his last start was a gem against St. Louis, seven innings, four hits, one earned run. He’s 0-1 with an ERA of 3.86 in his career against the Rockies.
Game Three: Juan Nicasio (6-5, 4.92) Vs. A.J. Burnett (4-7, 2.86): Nicasio has only one career game against the Pirates, he went 6.2innings, giving up one earned run. He was rocked in his most recent start, giving up ten hits, and eight runs over four innings of work against Atlanta. Burnett has had some difficulties at times working deep into games, but in each of his last two starts, he’s gone seven innings, the most recent one was a beauty against St. Louis, in which he gave up only one run on three hits. Burnett is 2-3 with an ERA of 2.97 against the Rockies in his career. He has taken a decision in each of his five starts against Colorado.
Rockies Players To Watch:
Michael Cuddyer: Cuddyer has been one of the few good things the Rockies have going for them this year, hitting .329/.397/.564, and over the last couple of weeks he’s been just as hot, hitting .333/.447/.564. The Pirates will need to keep Cuddyer from doing them serious damage, in order to take this series.
Wilin Rosario: The Rockies catcher has been scorching over the last week, hitting .412/.412/.824 over the course of five games. He also hits significantly better on the road (.304) than he does at Coors Field (.250).
Troy Tulowitzki: Tulowitzki has been struggling a bit of late, over the last four weeks, he’s hitting .220/.266/.407, hardly what you’d expect from a shortstop of his caliber. A trip to Pittsburgh might be just the thing for him though, he’s hit .382/.437/.513 at PNC Park throughout his career.
Pirates Players To Watch:
Clint Barmes: Over the last week, Barmes has picked up the pace at the plate, posting a triple slash of .333/.379/.423, and even has four RBI over the last seven days as well. Against the Rockies over his career, Barmes has hit .286/.352/.551.
Neil Walker: Walker is hitting .304/.407/.522 over the last week, after a couple of down weeks in which he performed poorly. Walker’s career numbers against Colorado are nothing to gawk at, but it will be interesting to see if he can continue the tear he’s been on over the past week.
Garrett Jones: Jones has absolutely mashed against the Rockies over the course of his career, posting a triple slash of .333/.392/.722 against Colorado. In seventy-two at bats, Jones has launched seven home runs, and knocked in seventeen runs.
This is the first meeting between the Pirates and Rockies in 2013.
Pedro Alvarez and Carlos Gonzalez are the two N.L. leaders in home runs this season, Alvarez leads the league with twenty-seven, Gonzalez is second with twenty-six.
The Pirates have been shutout eight times this season. They are 5-3 following a shutout loss.