Pittsburgh Pirates: All-Star Game on Tonight
Major League Baseball is currently on their All-Star break. Tonight marks the 89th game with the title. The Pittsburgh Pirates have one representative who is likely to appear.
At the beginning of the 2018 MLB season, it seemed likely that the Pittsburgh Pirates would have had a few players in the All-Star running. Players like Gregory Polanco and Josh Bell got off to a scorching start. Meanwhile, guys like Corey Dickerson and Francisco Cervelli quietly were posting really strong numbers through the first few months of the season.
However, both Polanco and Bell fell off as the team fell out of contention. Then Cervelli landed on the disabled list promptly ending his chances of an All-Star nod. Lastly, Corey Dickerson saw himself cool off for a few weeks and really saw his power disappear. While he still has really impressive defensive numbers and a strong batting average, he was simply passed up by other outfielders who have hit with more power.
Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star
So with that, the team had one obvious choice for the All-Star game, closer Felipe Vazquez. Vazquez, of course, should and was considered to be an All-Star talent from the start of the season. However, he saw himself somewhat struggle the first two months of the season and saw his velocity down a few ticks from last year. This was especially prevalent in May where his ERA was north of five.
The power lefty has settled down since and has seen his fastball get back into triple digits. In June he saw his ERA settle to Felipe like at 1.64 with 19 strikeouts in 11 innings. He has followed that up with an even better July where he has yet to give up a run in eight innings while striking out 15. His dominant last month and a half has led him to be the lone representative for the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight.
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The game will be on national TV tonight aired by Fox. The game starts at 8:00 Eastern Time, but of course the first pitch will likely be a little after that. This will be the first time that the game is held by the Washington Nationals. The series is tied between the American League and National League, both having 43 wins. There are also two ties in the all-time series. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh Pirates fans, they will likely have to wait to see Felipe Vazquez pitch. He likely will not enter the game until the later innings. Still, it will be exciting to see the first time All-Star go up against some of the best hitters in the American League and hopefully see that radar gun light up into triple digits.