Pittsburgh Pirates face Cardinals in crucial 3-game set
Sep 22, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Francisco Liriano (47) pitches in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Liriano’s last start against the Dodgers was unique in many ways. Not only did Liriano do the unthinkable by hitting an (opposite field!) home run, but he gave fans quite the scare with mechanics that looked off from the jump and a visit to the mound from the training staff. As of now, everyone in the organization is pulling the company line and saying he is healthy. The Pittsburgh Pirates had better hope that is true, as the prospects of a rotation that is missing Liriano while also hurting elsewhere is as close to apocalyptic as you can get. Liriano’s 2015 has been the tale of the swing and the miss, as he is still among the league leaders in swinging-strike percentage. Any twinge or hitch to his mechanics could hinder this ability.
Here are Liriano’s numbers against current Cardinals:
Lance Lynn is a guy who has given the Pirates fits at times, but as the table below suggests, there are some opportunities. Neil Walker in particular hits Lynn very well with a .325/.404/.675 slashine. Starling Marte also does some damage with a 1.022 OPS. Much like the other matchups, the Pirates need to make Lynn work and try to elevate pitch counts. Lynn currently owns a 3.29 SO/W ratio against current Bucs.
Here is the complete look at Lynn’s career numbers vs current Pirates:
|Jung Ho Kang||2||2||1||0||0||0||1||0||1||.500||.500||.500||1.000|
Now that we’ve gone in depth with the pitching matchups, let’s wrap some final thoughts and make a prediction.
Next: Can the Pirates win this series?