Game 85: Keep the Streak Alive

Lost in all the Tyler Glasnow news and trade rumors is that there’s actually a game tonight. The Pirates (43-41) will take their six-game winning streak into Busch Stadium against the Cardinals for the third game of a four-game series. A win tonight would give the Pirates their longest winning streak of the season and will move them into second place in the NL Central for the first time in about a month.

Pirates LHP Jeff Locke is on the mound for your Bucs as he hopes to lower his road ERA like he did with a promising outing in Oakland last time out. Locke is 8-5 with a 5.13 ERA through 16 starts for the Bucs this season, but most of that damage came on the road a 7.16 ERA split. Of course that was aided by a handful of horrendous starts (see Colorado, San Diego and New York), but either way it’s an issue that hopefully Locke can continue to right tonight.

Opposing the Pirates will be Cards lefty Jaime Garcia. Garcia is another Cards starter having a so so year in the rotation—6-6, 3.84 ERA (3.69 FIP) and a 7.6 K/9. Nothing spectacular but another Cards pitcher that has unprecedented success against the Buccos. How good has he been against the Bucs? How about a 0.57 ERA in 31.2 innings against the Pirates. However, this is his first start against them this season so maybe this offense can flip the script like they did on Mike Leake twice this year and just the other night.

The Pirates have their lefty lineup in with Mercer leading off and Polanco sitting with his sore leg problem anyway. Jung Ho Kang is back in the lineup after reduced to PH duties yesterday after news of an alleged sex assault in Chicago hit the wire.

Pirates lineup
Mercer SS
Freese 1B
McCutchen CF
Kang 3B
Marte LF
Harrison 2B
Rodriguez RF
Kratz C
Locke P

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