Indians Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 2-0 Loss at Cleveland. James McDonald did his part. Box score.
Saturday: 9-2 Win at Cleveland. Pedro wakes up with 2 HRs… Box score.
Sunday: 9-5 Win at Cleveland. …and follows up with 2 more. Box score.

Season Record: 34-31, 2nd place in NL Central, 3.5 games back

Notes: Any talk has to start with Pedro Alvarez flashing the talent we all know he has inside. Pedro knocked in half of the 18 runs the Pirates scored this weekend. Not to be overlooked in El Toro’s big show is Casey McGehee, who had five hits and five RBI of his own. A.J. Burnett came up big and stopped the losing streak even though he didn’t have his best stuff.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh   AB   R   H  RBI  BB  SO  LOB     AVG     OBP
Presley, LF 15 2 2 2 0 3 6 0.133 0.133
McGehee, 1B 13 4 5 5 1 3 8 0.385 0.429
McCutchen, A, CF 13 1 4 0 1 2 6 0.308 0.357
Alvarez, 3B 11 4 5 9 2 1 3 0.455 0.538
Walker, 2B 10 3 4 0 3 4 0 0.400 0.571
Jones, G, DH, RF 10 3 2 1 2 2 6 0.200 0.333
Tabata, RF 8 0 2 0 2 2 5 0.250 0.400
Barmes, SS 8 0 0 0 1 4 4 0.000 0.111
Barajas, C 7 0 0 0 1 2 4 0.000 0.125
Hague, PH-DH 5 1 2 0 0 1 2 0.400 0.400
McKenry, C 3 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.000 0.250
Harrison, SS 2 0 1 0 0 1 0 0.500 0.667
  Totals 105 18 27 17 14 26 44 0.257 0.355

Batting
Doubles (4): Walker (12), McCutchen (11), Alvarez (11), Tabata (12)
Home Runs (7): Alvarez 4 (12), McGehee (3), Presley 2 (5)

BaseRunning
SB: Walker 2 (7), Tabata (8)
CS: Harrison (2)

Fielding
Double Plays: (Presley-Barajas), (Walker-Barmes-McGehee), (Hughes-Barmes-McGehee

Pitching

Pittsburgh     IP    H    R   ER  BB  SO  HR    ERA   WHIP
Burnett, AJ(W, 7-2) 6.7 6 2 2 4 2 2 2.70 1.50
McDonald, J(L, 5-3) 6.0 3 1 1 2 5 0 1.50 0.83
Hughes, J(H, 5) 3.3 2 1 1 0 0 0 2.70 0.60
Lincoln 3.3 8 4 4 1 2 1 10.80 2.70
Watson(W, 4-0) 2.7 3 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 1.13
Grilli 1.7 0 1 1 2 3 0 5.40 1.20
Hanrahan 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 1.00
Slaten 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
Cruz, J 0.3 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 3.00
  Totals 26.0 24 9 9 9 16 3 3.12 1.27

Transactions: none

Series Preview: The Indians

Current record: 32-31, 3rd place in NL Central, 4.0 games back

Up Next: Cleveland Indians, 33-30, 2nd place in AL Central, 1.0 game back

Season Series: 0-1, First time playing.

Notes: Like the Orioles, the Indians are over .500 despite a negative run differential. Like the Orioles, their pitching is weak and they need to out hit their opponent to win. Like the Orioles, they have one of the best young catchers in the game: Carlos Santana. Like the Orioles, they haven’t lost to the Pirates this season. Hopefully, the similarities end there and the Bucs can take the next two games.

Familiar Faces: None

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH James McDonald (2-6, 81.1 IP, 59 K, 4.76 ERA, 1.44 WHIP)
vs. RH Justin Masterson (5-2, 67.0 IP, 51 K, 3.49 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)

Saturday: RH A.J. Burnett (6-2, 62.1 IP, 56 K, 3.61 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)
vs. RH Ubaldo Jimenez (6-4, 69.2 IP, 44 K, 4.91 ERA, 1.59 WHIP)

Sunday: RH Brad Lincoln (3-2, 34.1 IP, 34 K, 3.15 ERA, 1.22 WHIP)
vs. RH Jeanmar Gomez (4-5, 63.0 IP, 31 K, 4.71 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)

Series Preview: The Royals

Current record: 29-27, 2nd place in NL Central, 2.0 games back

Up Next: Kansas City Royals, 24-31, 4th place in AL Central, 7.0 games back

Season Series: 0-0, First time playing.

Notes: Interleague play is back for the next 15 games. For the Royals tonight, that means they lose the DH and their defense gets shifted around to keep their best hitters in the lineup. DH Billy Butler goes to first, 1B Eric Hosmer goes to RF, and RF Jeff Francoeur moves to CF. The Pirates have been playing well and should have no trouble with the weak Royals pitching.

Familiar Faces: Surpisingly, none.

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH Luke Hochevar (3-6, 57.0 IP, 46 K, 6.63 ERA, 1.54 WHIP)
vs. LH Erik Bedard (3-6, 55.2 IP, 56 K, 3.72 ERA, 1.40 WHIP)

Saturday: LH Vin Mazzaro (2-0, 12.0 IP, 5 K, 2.25 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)
vs. RH James McDonald (5-2, 71.1 IP, 71 K, 2.14 ERA, 0.95 WHIP)

Sunday: LH Bruce Chen (5-5, 70.0 IP, 48 K, 4.37 ERA, 1.24 WHIP)
vs. RH A.J. Burnett (5-2, 55.0 IP, 50 K, 3.76 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)

Royals
Alex Gordon LF
Yuniesky Betancourt 2B
Billy Butler 1B
Mike Moustakas 3B
Jeff Francoeur CF
Eric Hosmer RF
Alcides Escobar SS
Humberto Quintero C
Luke Hochevar P

Alex Presley LF
Neil Walker 2B
Andrew McCutchen CF
Garrett Jones RF
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Jose Tabata RF
Rod Barajas C
Clint Barmes SS
Erik Bedard P

Series Preview: The Reds

Please forgive the lateness of this post. I hope you all enjoyed this Memorial Day weekend as much as I did. All numbers are from before Monday’s game. 

Current record: 23-24, 4th place in NL Central, 4.0 games back

Up Next: Cincinnati Reds, 27-20, 1st place in NL Central, 1.5 games ahead

Season Series: 1-2, Cutch was out with the flu and the Bucs only scored four runs in the three games.

Notes: The Reds are in first place, having won eight of their last nine games.

Familiar Faces: Ryan Ludwick, Bronson Arroyo,

Probable Pitchers
Monday: RH Bronson Arroyo (2-2, 58.2 IP, 44 K, 3.22 ERA, 1.26 WHIP)
vs. RH James McDonald (3-2, 57.2 IP, 58 K, 2.51 ERA, 0.99 WHIP)

Tuesday: RH Homer Bailey (3-3, 53.2 IP, 40 K, 4.19 ERA, 1.38 WHIP)
vs. RH Charlie Morton (2-5, 46.1 IP, 25 K, 4.27 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)

Wednesday: RH Johnny Cueto (5-2, 64.0 IP, 41 K, 2.53 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)
vs. RH A.J. Burnett (3-2, 43.0 IP, 39 K, 4.19 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)

Series Preview: The Cubs

Current record: 20-24, 4th place in NL Central, 5.0 games back

Up Next: Chicago Cubs, 15-29, 6th place in NL Central, 10.0 games back

Season Series: 0-0, First time playing.

Notes: First baseman Bryan LaHair is making the most of his first chance at regular playing time. He leads the team with 10 HR and a 1.020 OPS. Speedster Tony Campana and his twelve stolen bases have taken over CF since Marlon Byrd was traded to Boston. Carlos Marmol was almost removed from the closer role before going on the DL with a hamstring strain. The Cubs top three catchers (Geovany Soto, Steve Clevenger and Welington Castillo) are all hurt right now.

Familiar Faces: Paul Maholm

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH Ryan Dempster (0-2, 47.1 IP, 44 K, 2.28 ERA, 1.06 WHIP)
vs. RH A.J. Burnett (2-2, 37.2 IP, 33 K, 4.78 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)

Dempster has pitched much better than his 0-2 record. He’s in line to be the Cubs’ All-Star and then traded at the deadline. The trade for A.J. Burnett keeps looking better and better.

Saturday: LH Paul Maholm (4-3, 45.2 IP, 27 K, 4.73 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)
vs. RH Kevin Correia (1-5, 46.0 IP, 16 K, 4.50 ERA, 1.24 WHIP)

In his first season for the Cubs, Maholm is pitching as well as he usually did for the Pirates. Correia’s WHIP is pretty good, but that’s the only stat of his that looks nice.

Sunday: RH Matt Garza (2-2, 48.1 IP, 43 K, 3.72 ERA, 1.12 WHIP)
vs. LH Erik Bedard (2-5, 46.0 IP, 48 K, 3.52 ERA, 1.39 WHIP)

Garza has also been the subject of trade rumors but he’s likely to be kept around unless someone gives the Cubs a real sweetheart deal. Bedard tries to right himself after two shaky starts since his back spasms.

No lineups yet.

Series Preview: The Tigers

Current record: 18-20, 3rd place in NL Central, 4.0 games back

Up Next: Detroit Tigers, 18-20, 2nd place in AL Central, 4.0 games back

Season Series: 0-0, First time playing.

Notes: The Pirates head to Detroit for the start of Interleague play. Miguel CabreraPrince Fielder and Austin Jackson lead an offense that has scored 167 runs in 38 games, 4.39 per game. Fortunately, the pitching and defense has yielded 4.66 r/g. Curious to see who’ll be DHing for the Pirates this weekend.

Familiar Faces: Jim Leyland, Octavio Dotel and Don Kelly.

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH Charlie Morton (2-3, 33.1 IP, 20 K, 4.05 ERA, 1.44 WHIP)
vs. Rh Justin Verlander (4-1, 58.1 IP, 56 K, 2.47 ERA, 0.87 WHIP)

Morton’s mechanical adjustments were very effective in his last start. Just when you thought the Pirates had already faced every good pitcher in the league, they face last year’s AL Cy Young award winner and MVP.

Saturday: RH A.J. Burnett (1-2, 31.2 IP, 31 K, 5.12 ERA, 1.26 WHIP)
vs. LH Drew Smyly (1-0, 39.0 IP, 32 K, 2.31 ERA, 1.10 WHIP)

Burnett’s been amazing, save the one awful start. Smyly is the Tigers’ hot young rookie.

Sunday: RH Kevin Correia (1-4, 40.0 IP, 14 K, 4.50 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)
vs. RH Max Scherzer (2-3, 41.2 IP, 48 K, 6.26 ERA, 1.73 WHIP)

Really hoping that Brad Lincoln gets this start instead of Correia. If not, then you have to imagine that Kevin will be on a very short leash. Even with nothing else going his way Scherzer still strikes out a bunch of guys. He’s the kind of pitcher that always
seems to right himself against the Bucs.

No lineups yet.

4:58 Update: Lineups:
Josh Harrison DH
Neil Walker 2B
Andrew McCutchen CF
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Garrett Jones RF
Casey McGehee 1B
Nate McLouth LF
Clint Barmes SS
Michael McKenry C

Tigers
Don Kelly CF
Andy Dirks LF
Miguel Cabrera 3B
Prince Fielder 1B
Delmon Young DH
Alex Avila C
Brennan Boesch RF
Jhonny Peralta SS
Ryan Raburn 2B

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