Scouting Friday's Pirates-Rockies game
By Travis Sawchik
Published: Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Francisco Liriano is closing in on qualification to contend for the NL's ERA title. Liriano enters his Friday start with a 2.02 ERA, which would rank second behind Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (1.91). To qualify, a pitcher is required to have logged as many innings as team games. The Pirates have played 114 games; Liriano has thrown 1022⁄3 innings. Liriano is 1-1 with 1.93 ERA in two career starts vs. the Rockies. He has never pitched at Coors Field. The Rockies will be without star OF Carlos Gonzalez (finger), who has been placed on the 15-day DL.
• Despite the humidor, Coors Field remains an offensive paradise. The Rockies' home is the second-easiest park to score in, according to ESPN's Park Factors. It will be interesting to see how the Pirates' low-scoring brand of baseball translates to the mile-high air. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said a key is for his staff to generate ground balls, noting there are no inside-the-park home runs in Coors Field history. Rockies starter Jorge de la Rosa has a better ERA (2.65) at home than on the road (3.84) this season.
The Indians designated first baseman Mark Reynolds for assignment Thursday. Reynolds strikes out frequently but also has rare power. If the Pirates are seeking a corner power bat, he could be an option.
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