Previewing Friday's Pirates-Cardinals game
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.
Andrew McCutchen has begun to play like a reigning MVP. He entered Thursday having homered in three straight games.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Pirates notebook: Locke makes bid for final rotation spot, Tabata cut
- MLB commissioner: Pirates’ success starts in the front office
- About face: Pirates’ Burnett now digging the shifts
- Spring training breakdown: Pirates 4, Twins 2
- Baseball awaits chance to fully delve into Cuba’s talent pool
- Pirates notebook: RV is home to pitcher Lincoln for spring training
- Pirates’ Harrison working to use 2014 success as building block
- Hair Cutch: Pirates superstar lops off his locks for charity