Pittsburgh Pirates (24-30, Last Place-NL Central, 5GB) at
New York Mets (23-29), 2nd Place-NL East, 10GB)
It’s only been 4 games since the Mets could have swept the Pirates in Pittsburgh last weekend. Pittsburgh dropped 2 out of 3 at home to Arizona, including a 14-inning loss on Wednesday, where they were able to tie the game twice after the 8th inning before finally falling short. Although the Pirates have a record just percentage points above the Mets, they are only 5 games out of first, due to the struggles the rest of the Central Division is having. The key to beating Pittsburgh is to rack up a lead that would prevent the bullpen from bailing out the starters: Pittsburgh’s bullpen ERA is 3.23, while the Starters come in at 5.09.
Contrary to what we have seen from recent performances, the Mets Offense has been more effective than the Pitching staff. The Mets 5.7 Runs Per Game is good for fourth in the league, while they have allowed a 25th-ranked 5.3 RPG. Getting Steven Matz and Julio Lugo back from injury and into the starting rotation should help lower the 5.69 ERA from the starters. The bullpen hasn’t been much better at 4.19. The hope that the pitching staff can right itself is still providing me hope that there is still time to turn this season around.
Here are this weekend’s probable pitching matchups:
Friday: Gerrit Cole (2-5, 3.65) vs. Matt Harvey (4-3, 4.95)
Cole’s last start was a No-Decision in the Pirates 5-4 win on Saturday. In 5 innings, Cole allowed 4 runs and served up 3 Home Runs. Harvey looks to get his third win in a row for the first time since the start of the 2015 season, when he went 5-0 before his injury issues started. In his last 2 starts, Harvey has allowed just 3 runs in 11 innings, with 10 strikeouts.
Saturday: Tyler Glasnow (2-4, 6.95) vs. Robert Gsellman (3-3, 5.75)
Glasnow lost to Harvey in his last outing on Sunday night, allowing 5 runs in 5 innings. For the first time all season, Glasnow did not allow a walk in that game. Gsellman could be making one of his last starts before returning to the bullpen upon the return of Matz and Lugo. Against Milwaukee in his last start, he allowed just 2 runs in 7 innings. Out of his 21 recorded outs, 13 were on the ground.
Sunday: Trevor Williams (2-3, 5.20) vs. Tyler Pill (0-1, 3.00)
Williams is making his sixth start of the season after starting out in the bullpen. In 36.1 Innings, Williams has allowed 24 runs and 11 walks. Pill makes his second start of the year. In his last start against Milwaukee, he pitched well, allowing just a run in 5.1 innings to go with 4 strikeouts and 3 walks in a game eventually won in the 12th, after Asdrubal Cabrera’s error in the 7th allowed the Brewers to come back.