The Pittsburgh Pirates opened up their four game series in Miami by drubbing the Marlins 10-0 on Monday night.
On Monday night the Pittsburgh Pirates improved to 29-21 on the season by defeating the Miami Marlins 10-0. With the victory, the Pittsburgh Pirates are now 2-2 on their current seven game road trip. Also, it was a great bounce back performance after a sloppy loss in Texas yesterday.
Monday night’s victory was, in my opinion, the most well played game of the season for the Pirates. The Bucs got great starting pitching, played strong defense, and scored at will. Now, here are the Pittsburgh Pirates three stars and stiffs from Monday night’s victory.
Starting pitcher Jeff Locke – On Monday night the much maligned Jeff Locke pitched the best game of his Major League career. Locke tossed a complete game shut out, he allowed just three hits, and he did not walk a batter. In fact, Locke came just a few pitches shot of a ‘Greg Maddux‘ as he needed just 105 pitches to go the distance.
Words can not describe how dazzling Jeff Locke was for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night. He pounded the strike zone, his pitches had fantastic movement, and he kept Marlin hitters off base. In fact, due to a pair of double play balls Locke faced just one batter over the minimum on Monday night.
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This was Locke’s first career Major League complete game, and his first professional shut out. After tonight’s effort, Locke has lowered his ERA for the season to 4.33. Minus two disaster starts, one in San Diego in April and one in Chicago earlier in May, Locke has been the Pirates most consistent starting pitcher this season.
Also, with the Super Two threshold about to pass this was a big start for Jeff Locke to cool his seat down. I still fully expect Jameson Taillon to be called up to replace Juan Nicasio some time in the next two weeks. However, if Locke continues to pitch well he should be able to fend off Tyler Glasnow and/or Chad Kuhl a little longer.
Right fielder Gregory Polanco – Budding superstar Gregory Polanco went 2-for-4 with a grand slam on Monday night. Polanco’s grand slam was his eighth home run of the season, one less than the nine he hit last year, and his first career grand slam. Polanco’s grand slam was, in my opinion, the biggest hit of the game as it extended the Pirate lead from 3-0 to 7-0 and put the game out of reach for the Marlins.
On the season Gregory Polanco now has a .315/.393/.565/.958 slash line, a .401 wOBA, 156 wRC+, and his 18 doubles lead the National League. The Pittsburgh Pirates have a budding superstar in Gregory Polanco, and he is becoming a must see player.
First baseman David Freese – With a left-handed pitcher on the mound David Freese got the start at first base on Monday night, and he proceeded to have a four hit performance. Freese was 4-for-5 on Monday night, he drove in a pair of runs, scored a pair of runs, and hit two doubles giving him nine on the season.
Freese is continuing to prove to be a great bat for the Pittsburgh Pirates to have. After his four hit performance on Monday night, Freese owns a .802 OPS, .354 wOBA, and a wRC+ of 124. I would expect Freese to get the start at third base tomorrow night, since Jung Ho Kang has played in back-to-back games.
None, yay! The Pittsburgh Pirates were 10-0 victors on Monday night, each of their starting nine (minus pitcher Jeff Locke) recorded at least one base hit, and the Bucs played excellent defense. So, no stiffs tonight.
Tomorrow night’s game should see a lot less offense from the Pittsburgh Pirates. This is because the Miami Marlins are sending right-handed stud Jose Fernandez to the mound. However, the Pirates counter with their ace Gerrit Cole in what promises to be an excellent pitching match up.