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Previewing Sunday's Pirates-Yankees games

Pirates/MLB Videos

Saturday, May 17, 2014, 6:03 p.m.
 

X-factors

Pirates beat reporter Travis Sawchik's inside look at Sunday's games:

• Gerrit Cole demonstrated he might have added another weapon in his last start against Milwaukee when he threw several quality changeups. Cole struck out left-handed Brewers Lyle Overbay and Logan Schafer with changeups that had velocity separation and significant fading action. Cole entered that start throwing changeups at only a 3 percent rate, but catcher Chris Stewart said they elected to use the pitch more often when it showed good life in the pregame bullpen session. The changeup could be needed Sunday as Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Mark Teixeira are all threats from the left side of the plate.

• Charlie Morton's groundball rate is down 7 percentage points (55 percent) from his MLB-best rate of a year ago. Morton needs a lively sinker in home run-friendly Yankee Stadium.

The Buzz

Gregory Polanco has shown no signs of cooling off at Triple-A Indianapolis. Over his last 10 games entering Saturday, Polanco is batting .342 with a 1.062 OPS and more walks (8) than strikeouts (6).

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