Game 45: Rubby or Rubbish?

On Monday when seeing who the Pirates would face in this three-game series against the Diamondbacks, I groaned when I saw Rubby De La Rosa‘s name slated for tonight’s game.

Ol’ Rubby loves mowing the Pirates down as evidence by his two career starts against them over the last two years—1.38 ERA in 13.o innings and 14 strikeouts to just one walk. One of those starts was last month in Arizona when he shut the Pirates down in the D-Backs lone win in that series in the desert. In fact, he was one of the few pitchers that actually shut down the Pirates offense in April. Rubby’s success against the Pirates doesn’t make much sense considering he struggles against pretty much everyone else. He owns a career 4.41 ERA (4.47 FIP) and he gives up just over one hit per inning…except, of course, for when he’s facing the Pirates.

De La Rosa is currently enjoying one of his best seasons, but of course it was the start against the Pirates in April that turned it all around. After making five appearances this season, his ERA sat at 8.44, but after his one run, 6.0 inning win over the Bucs, he lowered his ERA under 6.00 and continued lowering it since all the way down to his current 3.53. Let’s hope the Bucs can find a way to breakthrough against Rubby tonight. This will be his first start at PNC Park.

Jeff Locke will make his 100th start for the Pirates tonight as he looks to lower than ERA to under five. Despite being a consistent starter for the Bucs in the last four seasons, Locke’s time in the rotation looks to be numbered with Taillon and Glasnow tearing it up at Indy and June quickly approaching. Locke hasn’t had much success against the Diamondbacks in his career, posting an 0-2 record with a 6.87 ERA in 18 innings of work. Arizona’s offense can put up some damage quick, so Locke needs to be on his game tonight.

Here’s tonight’s North Shore Nine
Jaso 1B
McCutchen CF
Polanco RF
Marte LF
Freese 3B
Harrison 2B
Mercer SS
Stewart C
Locke P

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