Pirates Will See Heavy Dose of Tommy Hunters Cutter Tonight
By Tom Smith
Pirates fans this is a warning. I think the game could get ugly tonight. Especially if you believe everything the internet shows with its’ computer simulations of the game between Pittsburgh and Texas tonight. Your brain might feel it too. The Rangers lineup is explosive. We were unable to find a single prediction site that gives the Pittsburgh Pirates a prayer against the Texas Rangers.
The best I could see was a site that said if Garrett Jones has a big night (3+ hits, walks, RBI) the Pirates still would have just a 37% chance of winning this game. (Accuscore mentioned a 29% chance of Jones having a big night.)
Heh. Screw it. We are huge suckers for an underdog.
On the mound for the Rangers will be 6’3″ 280 pounder Tommy Hunter. He was the Rangers first round pick in the 2007 amateur draft. He has a heater in the high 80s, low 90s and mixes a refined change up effectively as well.
But one pitch has been very effective of late for this monster of man. Hunter is a right handed pitcher that the Pirates left-handed hitters should have an advantage against. In 2008 and 2009, his first two seasons with the Rangers, Hunter fared well against right-handed hitters (.250 average and a .377 slugging,) but left-handed hitters ripped for a .300 clip with a .532 slugging percentage.
However, Hunter has developed a nice cut fastball. It can be difficult for lefties to hit. He has just three starts, but has held left handed batters to a .229/.289/.547 while right handers have a .077/.231/.397 with a tiny BABIP of .043.
Surely this will regress. Tonight would be a great time for it to start.
The Rangers are looking for their ninth straight victory tonight.
Josh Hamilton went 5-for-6 Sunday as he extended his hitting streak to 16 games.
Rangers starter Tommy Hunter is 2-0. He has allowed just four earned runs in 17.1 innings pitched with 10 strikeouts and six walks. He injured his hip Wednesday against Florida. He pitched 2.1 innings. Hunter threw 45 pitches on Saturday and indicated he felt no discomfort.
"“I threw well … complete game, no-hitter,” Hunter said. “No, I felt good. No problems.”"
Hunter threw a complete game, 117-pitch, five hitter against the Rays, six innings against the Mariners and allowed five hits, struck out five and walked three. In his 2.1 innings of work on June 16, he allowed no hits, but walked three Marlins with one earned one.
Garrett Jones is riding an eleven game hitting streak into the game. It’s a career long streak during which he is hitting at a .451 clip and has driven in nine runs.
In his past eight games, Lastings Milledge is hitting .478.
Since August 18, Pirates starter Ross Ohlendorf has not won a game. The Pirates have supported him over these 14 starts with an average of 2.2 runs per game.
For more information on the enemy, check out Nolan Writin’