Starling Marte & The Longest Home Runs at PNC Park

starling marte

Entering Friday’s game, Starling Marte had collected just three hits in his first 29 bats of the 2015 season while carrying a hideous 42.4% strikeout rate. He was bumped down to the sixth spot of the lineup, but managed to do some good things: infield hit, stolen base, a pair of runs scored… and he obliterated one to a place where baseballs simply don’t travel at PNC Park.

The cure? Jonathan Broxton. The Bucs continued their domination of the right-handed reliever, scoring three runs against him in the bottom of last night’s eighth inning. Broxton’s career ERA at PNC Park now sits at 14.44 … after serving this 92 mph fastball on a platter to Marte:

starling marte vs jonathan broxton

The landing spot:

starling marte home run

You don’t see that often. According to ESPN Home Run Tracker: 460 feet. That would be the longest at PNC since 2006 — when Home Run Tracker started — just two feet shy of Carlos Guillen‘s 462-ft shot off Ian Snell on 7/2/2006.

pnc park longest home runs

Here’s a map of the last 250 home runs at PNC Park…

longest home runs pnc park

That ball was tanked. Hopefully it gets Marte going back in the right direction.

Go Bucs

Series Preview: Pirates vs. Brewers

Pirates vs Brewers

Pittsburgh Pirates (3-6)


Milwaukee Brewers (2-7)

Friday, April 17th — 7:05 pm
Saturday, April 18th — 7:05 pm
Sunday, April 19th — 1:35 pm

PNC Park — Pittsburgh, PA


Follow us on Twitter @ForbesToFederal.

For the second straight weekend, it’s the Pirates and Brewers fighting for the bottom of the NL Central. The Bucs took two of three in Milwaukee last week, and now continue their 10-game homestand by hosting the Brew Crew this weekend.

Probable Pitchers

Friday — Vance Worley (0-1, 8.53) vs. Jimmy Nelson (1-0, 0.00)

Saturday — Jeff Locke (1-0, 3.00) vs. Kyle Lohse (0-2, 11.17)

Sunday — Gerrit Cole (1-0, 3.27) vs. Matt Garza (1-1, 4.22)

News, Notes, Storylines

Chris Stewart has been activated from the disabled list; the Pirates sent Tony Sanchez back to Indianapolis.

– The Brewers placed center fielder Carlos Gomez on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, so they’ll be without him for at least the next two weeks.

– Jeff Locke, originally slated to pitch Friday night, flipped start days with Vance Worley, who will get the ball instead. This is presumably designed to split up the left-handed pitchers in the rotation, with Liriano pitching in the previous game.

Andrew McCutchen is one home run away from tying Jason Bay for the PNC Park all-time lead (61).

– Cutch will bat cleanup on Friday night… Off-night for Neil Walker, with Sean Rodriguez playing second and batting eighth… Cervelli batting second, Polanco batting third.

– Bucs’ offense hit 5-for-51 on balls in play on Tuesday and Wednesday vs. Detroit. They also haven’t drawn a walk since last weekend…

– The Pirates’ pitching staff has the third best FIP (3.19) in the National League thus far.

– From yesterday: Caminero, Melancon & Early Season Velocity Changes

Opponent Blogs

Brew Crew Ball | Disciples of Uecker

What they’re saying:

“Well, the season just keeps getting worse for the Brewers. They lost 2 out of 3 to the Cardinals to bring their season record to a dismal 2-7. And as if that wasn’t bad enough Carlos Gomez who is either the best or the second best player on the team hit the disabled list with a hamstring injury.

The Pirates’s season hasn’t gone much better. In point of fact it’s gone exactly one game better in the standings as they are just 3-6. Two of those wins came against the Brewers in their recent series at Miller Park. Now the two rivals meet on the Pirates home turf in the pitching friendly confines of PNC Park. That can’t be good news for a team whose offense has struggled to get going.” – BCB

Player to Watch

jimmy nelson

Jimmy Nelson. He dominated the Pirates last week: 0 runs, 2 hits, 9 strikeouts over 7 innings in Milwaukee’s 6-0 Saturday win. He’ll take the hill in game 1 of this series, looking to set the tone for the rest of the weekend. The Bucs have been helpless at the plate recently, so they have to hope they can find a way to beat Nelson this time around.

Go Bucs

Caminero, Melancon & Early Velocity Changes

arquimedes caminero pirates

You really don’t want to read too much into stats this time of year — we’re not even 10 games into the new season, and everyone should know that anything can happen in that small of a sample. We’re still at the point where if you complain about Andrew McCutchen‘s .207 batting average, you need to realize he could be up to .303 with a 4-for-4 performance tomorrow night.

But there are some interesting trends to keep an eye on, especially considering the Bucs’ 3-6 start. They haven’t drawn a walk since Saturday (it’s been a whopping 40 innings) and they’re not exactly making opposing pitchers work, for example. Another has been the velocity of two Bucco relievers: Arquimedes Caminero and Mark Melancon.

Continue reading “Caminero, Melancon & Early Velocity Changes”

Series Preview: Pirates vs. Tigers

Pirates vs Tigers

Pittsburgh Pirates (2-4)


Detroit Tigers (6-0)

Monday, April 13th — 1:35 pm
Tuesday, April 14th — 7:05 pm
Wednesday, April 15th — 7:05 pm

PNC Park — Pittsburgh, PA


Follow us on Twitter @ForbesToFederal.

The Pirates concluded their opening week with a satisfying series win in Milwaukee. Now it’s time to return to Pittsburgh to kick off the home schedule. A 10-game homestand begins with the undefeated Detroit Tigers on Monday afternoon.

Probable Pitchers

Monday — Gerrit Cole (0-0, 5.40) vs. Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 0.00)

Tuesday — A.J. Burnett (0-0, 3.38) vs. Shane Greene (1-0, 0.00)

Wednesday — Francisco Liriano (0-0, 2.57) vs. Alfredo Simon (1-0, 5.06)

News, Notes, Storylines

– Monday is PNC Park’s Opening Day, with gates opening at 11:30 am and pregame ceremonies scheduled to begin at 12:45 pm.

– Parking, traffic, and security info for the opener can be found here.

– Tuesday is Buc Night at the ballpark… $1 hot dogs and popcorn.

– Wednesday is Jackie Robinson Day.

– Francisco Liriano will return from paternity leave to pitch on Wednesday night.

– The Pirates struck out in 28.6% of their plate appearances this past week, worst in MLB.

– The Tigers offense has been by far the best in baseball thus far, with a league-leading 47 runs scored and 177 wRC+.

– Without the designated hitter in the National League, Victor Martinez will be limited to a pinch-hitting role the next three days.

– The Bucs won 51 home games each of the last two seasons… Hopefully a similar campaign begins today.

Opponent Blogs

Bless You Boys | Motor City Bengals

What they’re saying:

“Speed, defense, power (hitting and pitching), clutch hitting and smarts—the Tigers did it all in rolling up a 6-0 record that was not a fluke in any way, shape or form.

It’s hard to imagine a big league club having a much better week of baseball—and we’re only in April.” – BYB

Player to Watch

miguel cabrera

Miguel Cabrera… it’s always a treat to watch one of the league’s best hitters. Cabrera was a force in week one, with hits in 13 of 25 at-bats, including two home runs against the Indians on Sunday. It will be necessary to slow down the powerful Detroit lineup as a whole, but a ton of their production revolves around Miggy.

Go Bucs