Pirates beat reporter Travis Sawchik'sinside look at Thursday's game:
• Watch Gerrit Cole's adrenaline levels. When Cole pitched at the Los Angeles Angels last year near his hometown of Newport Beach, Calif., he threw eight pitches registering 100 mph or faster. Cole could be too energized to pitch before family and friends. ... Cole's strikeout rate has improved in May, averaging 9.98 Ks per nine innings. Cole will need to miss bats against a potent Dodgers lineup he is facing for the second time in his career.
• Dan Haren has limited the current Pirates' hitters to a .196 average. Haren doesn't throw with the same velocity as he once did but has excellent command. He also throws a pitch rarely seen in today's game — a split-fingered fastball.
The Pirates have played poorly on the road this season entering Wednesday with a 7-15 record away from PNC Park, the worst road record in the majors. The road test only becomes more difficult in traveling to play a talented Dodgers team on the first West Coast swing this season.
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