The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-1 in front of another near sell-out crowd at PNC Park. With the win, the Pirates move to 54-47 on the season which puts them in a tie for second place in the National League Central with the St. Louis Cardinals, 2.5 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers. The win also places the Pirates just one game behind the Dodgers and Atlanta Braves.
Francisco Liriano looked impressive after a rough first inning in which he walked two. It was not until the fifth inning that Miguel Rojas recorded the first Dodgers hit with a double to left field. The final line for Liriano is 7.0 IP, 4 H, 4 K, 2 BB and 1 ER.
This is the kind of start that the Pirates needed to get from Liriano, who has looked like a shadow of his 2013 self this season. While its a terrific stat-line, the Pirates should not neccesarily count on him pitching in this fashion consisently. It is still wise to consider adding a starting pitcher at the deadline. You know what they say, you can never have too much pitching.
Liriano was aided by a four run first inning that saw the Pirates bat all the way through the order. Most of the position players looked confident at the plate against Dan Haren, including Travis Snider. Snider made a rare start in left field due to the injury suffered by Starling Marte. Snider was 2-3 with a solo home run in the second inning.
The Pirates will have Thursday off before heading out to the west coast for a ten game road trip with series with Colorado Rockies, San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks. They will be home next on August fifth to take on the Miami Marlins.
Starling Marte was added to the seven day concussion disabled list. Marte was struck in the head with a pitch in Friday’s match up with the Colorado Rockies. Brent Morel, a third basemen, was called up from AAA Indianopolis to fill Marte’s roster spot. Morel recorded his first hit as a Pirate in his only at bat on Wednesday night. Morel only batted .246 with three home runs in AAA.
Gerrit Cole threw a simulated game on Wednesday afternoon. He claimed to have felt good and was permitted to throw over 70 pitches. It is certainly a good sign. There is still no time table for his return but it seems unlikely that he would return at any point before the next home-stand. Imagine if he comes back at an elite level and IF Liriano can build upon Wednesday’s start.
Jon Morsi of Fox Sports tweeted on Wednesday that the Pirates have been scouting the Diamondbacks bullpen. Morsi notes, that former Pirates Oliver Perez is a potential target.
In addition to scouting AJ Burnett, it has been reported that the Pirates have been scouting Antonio Bastardo. Bastardo is a 24 year-old left-handed reliever who has posted a 3.27 ERA in 44 innings pitched. As for Burnett, the Pirates are not among the 20 teams on his no trade clause and according to Ken Rosenthal, the Pirates are his requested destination if he is traded.