Scouting Monday's Pirates-Cubs game
Charlie Morton needs to get back his split-changeup to combat left-handed hitters. Morton has been a two-pitch pitcher — sinker and curveball — for much of the season without an offering to neutralize left-handed hitters. Lefties are hitting .310 against Morton this season, righties .226. Morton has had little confidence in the changeup, but the Cubs stacked the lineup with six left-handed batters against Morton earlier this month (5 IP, 3 ER).
• Jeff Samardzija has authored two excellent starts against the Pirates this season and two shaky ones, but he has held current Pirates to a .213 batting average over 155 combined career at-bats. Samardzija's fastball averages 94.5 mph, one of the top average velocities in baseball.
The Reds' Billy Hamilton has impacted the NL Central race with three game-tying or winning runs and 11 steals, the most steals in baseball, since being called up Sept. 3.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- 20 improbable Pirates wins in 2014
- Mercer’s improved defense at shortstop gives Pirates a boost
- It’s official: Volquez to start Wednesday for Pirates
- Inside the decision: Pirates chose their own adventure
- Tekulve to throw out 1st pitch of Pirates’ postseason
- Pitcher Cueto, Reds dash Pirates’ division title hopes in finale
- Tickets available for Pirates playoff games
- Rossi: No matter outcome, Pirates arrive
- Wednesday’s scouting report: Pirates at Braves
- Pirates notebook: GM Huntington says team will stretch payroll to retain Martin
- Pirates notebook: Playoff tiebreakers create havoc for Bucs