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A Look Ahead at the Pittsburgh Pirates Week

April 14th, 2014 at 6:06 PM
By Allan Smith

The Pittsburgh Pirates followed up a 4-2 opening week with a 2-4 performance that included a sweep at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers.

The schedule won't ease up, as the Pirates play three games against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark before the Brewers come to Pittsburgh for a four-game series.

'P1030212' photo (c) 2009, Steve - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Monday: Pirates @ Reds | Wandy Rodriguez (0-2, 5.73 ERA) vs. Homer Bailey (0-1, 7.71 ERA)

The week starts with two pitchers trying to right their early season woes. Rodriguez, who was pitching well against the Cubs before giving up home runs to Mike Olt and Junior Lake, has stellar numbers against the Reds. In 306 plate appearances, the Reds own a .245/.294/.693 triple slash line. However, the Bucs will be facing a nemesis in Bailey who always pitches well against the Pirates, including a no-hitter at the end of the 2012 season.

Tuesday: Pirates @ Reds | Gerrit Cole (2-0, 3.46 ERA) vs. Mike Leake (1-1, 2.45 ERA)

Cole, the only Pirates starting pitcher with a win so far this season, has never faced the Reds before. The Pirates have good career numbers off of Leake, with a .284/.359/.457 triple slash line in 227 plate appearances. Russell Martin, Neil Walker and Jose Tabata all have good career numbers off the righty.

Wednesday: Pirates @ Reds | Francisco Liriano (0-2, 4.00 ERA) vs. Johnny Cueto (0-2, 2.14 ERA)

A much anticipated matchup, the two starters who faced off in Pittsburgh for the Wild Card game last season will face off for the first time in 2014. Cueto is certainly looking for revenge after giving up multiple homers to the Bucs in the playoff game, including one to Martin after he infamously dropped the ball. Cueto has looked good in his first few starts, although the Reds have not provided him much run support at all. Liriano is looking to pick up his first win of the year as well, and will try to improve on his previous performances at Great American Ballpark, where he had two below average starts last year.

'PNC Park' photo (c) 2006, Navin75 - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Thursday: Pirates vs. Brewers | Edinson Volquez (0-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. Yovani Gallardo (2-0, 0.96 ERA)

In a rematch from this past Saturday, the two best statistical pitchers from each staff face off in a rematch. Gallardo's start against the Bucs went much the same as most, as the Pirates never really could get anything off of him. Volquez recovered well from a leadoff Carlos Gomez homer and a second inning wild pitch, only allowing the two runs to the Brewers in his time on the mound.

Friday: Pirates vs. Brewers | Charlie Morton (0-1, 3.32 ERA) vs. Kyle Lohse (2-1, 3.05 ERA)

Morton pitched well in his start against the Brewers this past weekend, but it was nothing close to what Lohse provided. If Lohse pitches a near complete game again, there is next to no chance the Pirates will emerge victorious.

Saturday: Pirates vs. Brewers | Rodriguez vs. Matt Garza (0-1, 2.57 ERA)

Unfortunately for Rodriguez, his numbers against the Brewers are nowhere close to his stats against the Reds, with a .300/.357/.521 triple slash line in 300 plate appearances. The Bucs have a combined .766 OPS against Garza, with Pedro Alvarez, Clint Barmes, Gaby Sanchez and Tabata all having good numbers off the former Chicago Cub.

Sunday: Pirates vs. Brewers | Cole vs. Marco Estrada (1-0, 2.31 ERA)

Cole has below average numbers in limited time against Milwaukee, allowing a .345/.379/.445 triple slash in 59 plate appearances. Estrada's numbers are far superior, with a .211/.235/.414 triple slash in 133 plate appearances.

Tags: Baseball, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, MLB, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Pirates

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