Pirates Send Liriano To The Hill For Game Two With Giants


Jun 7, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Francisco Liriano (47) pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the fourth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off of last night’s big matchuup between Gerrit Cole and Tim Lincecum, the Pirates send Francisco Liriano to toe the rubber against Barry Zito and the Giants.

Liriano has never faced the Giants over the course of his career. This year, Liriano is 4-2 with an ERA of 1.75, and a WHIP of 1.167. He’s also put up an incredible 11.8 K/9.

Liriano has received decent run support so far this season, but in his last two starts he’s only gotten a total of two runs of support from the bats, and might not get much more tonight, due to the Pirates struggles against left-handed pitching this year.

Barry Zito holds a career record of 2-3 against the Pirates, an ERA of 3.73, and a WHIP of 1.415. This year Zito is 4-4, with an ERA of  4.06 and a WHIP of 1.529.

The Pirates offense has struggled against left-handed pitching this year, to the tune of a triple slash of .223/.288/.379. They’ve totaled only fifty-one runs against lefties all year.

Clint Hurdle said yesterday that he would no longer be paying attention to pitch counts for his starters, which could be interesting to see how it affects the length of Liriano’s start today:

"My approach in terms of pitches, actually we were having a conversation today, I’m not paying attention to the number of pitches anymore, the rest of the year, for anybody. I’m serious. Just so you know."

The Pirates were able to get to Lincecum early yesterday, which should play in their favor going through the remaining two games of the series, if they can continue finding ways to wear down the Giants bullpen.

The Pirates lineup for tonight’s game will look like this:

 Marte – LF

Mercer – SS

McCutchen – CF

Sanchez – 1B

Martin – C

Alvarez – 3B

Walker – 2B

Inge – RF

Liriano – P