Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Series Preview: Phillies at Pirates, July 2-4

Winners of nine straight games, the Pirates are faced with shuffling their rotation as they were forced to warm up the next guy in their starting rotation, Jeff Locke, before they finalized a 14-inning victory against the Brewers on Sunday.

The Pirates (51-30) enter July with the best record in baseball and they'll host the cross-state rival Phillies (39-44) for a three-game series that begins on Tuesday.

Pittsburgh will likely push Locke back till later in the series and use Jeanmar Gomez in the opener.

The Phils lost two of three to the Bucs at Pittsburgh's PNC Park last season.

Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and other key details on this series.

Tuesday, 7:05 PM.  Jonathan Pettibone (3-3, 4.17 ERA) vs. Jeanmar Gomez (2-0, 2.76 ERA). The 22-year-old Pettibone has not won in his last eight starts while posting a 4.67 ERA over that stretch.  In six road starts this year, Pettibone has a 1-2 record along with a 6.39 ERA.  Pettibone made his big league debut against Pittsburgh in April, allowing two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings pitched.  Gomez, a right-hander, is 1-0 with a 3.79 ERA in six home starts this season.  Delmon Young is 6-for-12 with three doubles, a home run and five RBI in his career against Gomez.

Wednesday, 7:05 PM.  John Lannan (1-2, 4.83 ERA) vs. Jeff Locke (7-1, 2.06 ERA).  In nine career games against the Pirates, Lannan has 1-4 record with a 4.53 ERA.  Andrew McCutchen is 7-for-16 (.438 avg) with two doubles, a triple and a homer in his career against Lannan.  The lefty Locke has a 3-0 record with a 2.48 ERA in seven home starts this year.  The 25-year-old has not been scored upon in five of his last eight starts.  Locke was a 2nd round pick of the Braves in 2006. 

Thursday, 1:35 PM.  Cole Hamels (2-11, 4.58 ERA) vs. Gerrit Cole (4-0, 3.70 ERA).  Hamels has a 1-2 record and a 3.00 ERA in six career starts against the Pirates.  In his last three road starts, Hamels is 0-2 with a 4.26 ERA.  Hamels has a 3.81 ERA in nine road games this season.  Cole, who was drafted in the 1st round by the Yankees in 2008, has won all four of his big league starts.  The rookie right-hander posted a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts for Triple-A Indianapolis before he was promoted to Pittsburgh in June.

Ben Revere leads the Phillies in hitting with a .289 mark.  The 25-year-old is batting .335 since April.  Revere is 2-for-24 (.083 avg) in six career games against the Pirates.

Domonic Brown's 21 home runs are second in the National League behind Carlos Gonzalez's 22.  Brown is 3-for-12 (.250 avg) with a double and an RBI in three games at PNC Park.

In 43 career games against the Pirates, Chase Utley is a .311 hitter with five homers and 20 RBI.  Utley has posted a .326 average in 10 games since returning from the disabled list.

Pedro Alvarez's 20 home runs lead the Pirates.  Alvarez is a .280 hitter with seven homers in 16 career games against the Phillies.

Former Phillies minor leaguer Jason Grilli, Pittsburgh's closer, leads the National League is saves with 27.  Grilli has a 0.44 ERA in 21 home games this season.

Andrew McCutchen is a .259 hitter with four home runs in 29 career games against the Phils. 

Phillies ERA in June- 4.02 (21st in MLB)
Pirates ERA in June- 2.99 (3rd in MLB)
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