TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Previewing Friday's Pirates-Cardinals game

Pirates/MLB Videos

Thursday, April 24, 2014, 4:54 p.m.
 

X-factors

Pirates beat reporter Travis Sawchik'sinside look at Friday's game:

• In five career starts against the Pirates, Shelby Miller is 0-5 with a 5.93 ERA. The first-round pick out of the 2009 has a live arm, but he throws a high percentage of four-seam fastballs which feature less movement than two-seam fastballs. This season, 70.1 percent of Miller's offerings have been four-seamers. The Pirates were the third-best hitting team against four-seam fastballs in baseball in 2013, according to Fangraphs.com, and are the ninth-best offense against four-seam fastballs early in 2014. Until Miller adjusts, it's a good matchup for the Pirates.

• Gerrit Cole has faced the Cardinals three times in his young career, with two of those starts coming in last year's NLDS. In those combined 18 innings against St. Louis, Cole has a 2.50 ERA and a 13-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Cole's fastball is averaging 95.5 mph early this season. The pitch averaged 96.1 mph last season.

The Buzz

Andrew McCutchen has begun to play like a reigning MVP. He entered Thursday having homered in three straight games.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Pirates

  1. Pirates notebook: Cole to make rehab start at Indianapolis on Monday
  2. Mile-high edge? Hurdle knows Coors Field
  3. Saturday’s scouting report: Pirates at Rockies
  4. Rockies’ 7-run 7th-inning dooms Pirates in 8-1 loss
  5. Pirates notebook: Recovering Cole exceeds expectations in simulated game
  6. Pirates’ Melancon has been consistent since moving into closer’s role
  7. Statistically speaking: Rockies’ bullpen suffering meltdowns
  8. Friday’s scouting report: Pirates at Rockies
  9. Rossi: Liriano no ace, but he’s Bucs’ key
  10. Outfielder Polanco driving force for Pirates in victory over Dodgers
  11. Liriano, Snider lift Pirates to a victory over Dodgers at PNC Park
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.