Game 74: The Weekend Series Verse The Dodgers

Tonight at 7:05 PM the Pirates(34-39) will begin their four-game series verse the L.A. Dodgers (41-33). Pittsburgh is currently on a 5-17 skid for the month of June, while the Dodgers are 13-8. With the Dodgers throwing two of their best pitchers this series and the Pirates, well if they had two good pitchers they won’t be throwing in this series.

Jameson Taillon will make his fourth start of the season tonight. Currently, he owns a 3.50 ERA and has recorded two quality starts on the year. Though he is coming off of the worst start (four earned runs in four innings verse the Cubs) he shown the type of stuff and command that lead the Pirates to draft him #2 overall in the 2010 draft. He pitched a gem against the Mets on June 14th, and is poised to take on the Dodgers offense that ranks 19th in MLB in runs, 18th in home runs, and 27th in average, and 23rd in on base percentage.

Pittsburgh will face Nick Tepesch who is making his first MLB start of the season and first career start with the Dodgers. After five years with the Texas Rangers organization, Tepesch signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers this season. Though he showed some promise as a young pitcher for the Rangers, Tepesch’s career has been filled with injuries that lead to his departure with the club. In just 219 innings (39 starts) he holds a 4.56 ERA (4.66 FIP) and a 1.36 WHIP. Though these numbers aren’t thrilling, he has posted a 2.00 ERA in 18 innings (3 starts) for the Dodgers Triple A affiliate in Oklahoma City where he’s struck out 17 while walking only three.

With Gregory Polanco sitting out in tonight’s contest, Starling Marte will take over the #2 hitter duties and Matt Joyce will get the starting nod in right field. Josh Harrison, who has struggled in the month of June hitting just .202 with a .525 OPS, will also get the day off. Sean Rodriguez will take his place in the lineup and at 2nd. Rodriguez has found himself also struggling of late as he has just hit just .200 in June with a .505 OPS. With the Pirates spiraling down the standings this month and having to face Maeda and Kershaw this weekend, its certainly feeling like a must win tonight if there is a slightest chance of a playoff berth for 2016.

Pirates Lineup:

  1. Jaso 1B
  2. Marte LF
  3. McCutchen CF
  4. Kang 3B
  5. Joyce RF
  6. Mercer SS
  7. Rodriguez 2B
  8. Stewart C
  9. Taillon P


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