Pirates starter Chris Archer isn’t sneaking up on anyone these days
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Chris Archer has had his share of struggles this season, coming into Saturday night’s matchup against the New York Mets with a 5.58 ERA, having allowed an NL-high 25 home runs.
As he tries to get his game back on track, a quirk of scheduling has made sure Archer isn’t sneaking up on anyone.
His last three starts have been against the same team he faced in his previous appearance.
He started July 3 and July 12 against the Cubs, July 17 and July 23 against the Cardinals and July 28 and Saturday night against the Mets.
Starting pitcher Joe Musgrove said making back-to-back starts against the same team can be a double-edged sword.
“I feel like if you throw well against a team and you see them again, your confidence is pretty high going into it whereas theirs is a little lower,” Musgrove said. “If they crush you for five or six runs and get you out, your confidence might be a little lower.”
Musgrove had the unusual distinction of making three straight starts against the same team last month.
On June 5, he went 8-plus innings in a 7-4 Pirates victory over the Braves. In his next start five days later, he was tossed by umpire Brian Gorman after hitting Josh Donaldson with a pitch in the first inning. He pitched again against the Braves three days later and gave up six runs in four innings.
Musgrove said he didn’t think Braves hitters had an advantage having seen his stuff so many times before the third outing.
“I’ve done that a couple of times this year. I’m used to it,” Musgrove said. “You get to know these hitters enough. You know their weaknesses. It forces you to attack them differently. You’ve got to challenge them with more fastballs and save your weapons for when you really need it.”
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review assistant sports editor. You can contact Jonathan by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .