Series Preview: Pirates @ Orioles

Pirates vs Orioles

Pittsburgh Pirates (10-16)


Baltimore Orioles (12-12)

Tuesday, April 29th – 7:05 pm
Wednesday, April 30th – 7:05 pm
Thursday, May 1st – Doubleheader

UPDATE: Tuesday’s game has been postponed due to rain. They’ll make it up Thursday night at 7:05. Pitching matchups pushed back a day.
UPDATE II: Welp, Wednesday’s game has been also been postponed. Doubleheader on Thursday starting at 4:00 pm.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards – Baltimore, MD


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After a much needed off-day, the Pirates pick up in Baltimore with a two-game interleague tilt with the Orioles. It’s finally their first series outside the NL Central, but the road’s not looking any easier from here on out. Hopefully the Bucs can pick up some confidence before coming home for a nine-game homestand…

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Probable Pitchers

Tuesday – Charlie Morton (0-3, 4.35) vs. Chris Tillman (3-1, 3.38)

Wednesday – Brandon Cumpton (0-1, 2.57) vs. Bud Norris (1-2, 4.44)

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News, Notes, Storylines

– The weather is apparently pretty crappy in Baltimore, so let’s see if/when they can get these games in…

– The Bucs have their sinkerballers on the bump the next two days in Morton and Cumpton. Can Ground Chuck get more grounders and avoid the big inning? Can Cumpton keep up his small sample of big league success?

– American League ballpark = designated hitter, so there’s that. Gaby Sanchez is penciled in to DH Tuesday night (and will probably get the nod Wednesday too).

– The O’s plan on activating Manny Machado from the disabled list before Tuesday’s game. The 21-year-old third baseman hit .283 with a .746 OPS in his first full big league season before a knee injury that required surgery. You’ll remember that the Pirates passed on him to select Jameson Taillon in the 2010 draft.

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Opponent Blogs

Camden Chat | Camden Depot

What they’re saying:

[quote_simple]”A two-game series? Against a National League team? With off-days bracketing it? This is already weird.” – Camden Chat[/quote_simple]

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Player to Watch

Starling Marte. I wrote about his struggles the other day, in particular his strikeout/plate discipline/etc. issue. Marte, who is still leading all MLB batters with 37 strikeouts, hasn’t collected a hit since last Wednesday. You could say that’s a problem. For his efforts (or lack thereof), Starling has been dropped down to the seven spot of the Pirates’ batting order for Tuesday night’s ballgame. Only six times has he started a game outside of the leadoff spot, hitting out of the two-hole on all six occasions. Who knows how much time he’ll spend at the bottom of the lineup, but he might as well make himself at home down there if he doesn’t figure things out quickly.

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Prediction Time

They’ve lost each of their last five series. The hitting’s inconsistent (lowest batting average on balls in play in the NL). The pitching’s inconsistent (lowest pitching staff WAR in MLB). I have a hard time believing they’re this bad. Pirates will win both games! (maybe. hopefully. please.)

Go Bucs

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