To get you prepared for the upcoming Marlins, Pirates series that kicks off today, we took some time to visit with Tom Smith, the editor at Rumbunter.com. Rumbunter provides some of the best content around on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Here is our conversation.
MM: Andrew McCutchen left the game Sunday with an injury. What is the latest on that and should we expect to see him this series?
I would imagine McCutchen is going to be out for the series. Just a guess.
MM: Since we last spoke, the Pirates have pushed their record to 7 games over .500 and 0.5 games out of a wildcard spot in the National League. What has sparked the solid play?
McCutchen has been the catalyst as he seemingly always seems to do. Playing without Cutch is something the Pirates never have to do.
MM: With the trade deadline passed, do you think the Pirates did enough to make some noise in the postseason? What do you wish they would have done differently?
Well, the non-waiver trade deadline certainly was interesting. No, the Bucs didn’t do enough to address the holes on the 18 man roster. The team needs to improve the bench depth, the bullpen and…well, this could take a while. But the current 25 man roster has seven players that need to step up or move along.
MM: Would you preview the pitchers that the Marlins will face this series?
The Pirates pitching staff has been one of the worst in baseball over past couple weeks. The starters that will pitch in the series have not posted a victory in each of their last three starts with bloated metrics behind each of the Bucs hurlers.
Charlie Morton has been good at times during his past three starts, but averaging just six innings while giving up five runs per game tells most of the story with #ElectricStuff. As is the norm, poor defense behind Morton hasn’t helped his cause. But Morton pitches well at PNC including surrendering just under a run and a half per game in his last six starts at PNC.
Jeff Locke has been really poor in his last two starts giving up five homers. Locke pitched so well after rejoining the club, but in his last 18 innings—three starts he has been rocked for thirteen runs while walking five—he walked five batters in his previous six starts—43.1 innings.
Edinson Volquez hasn’t been quite right since pitching a complete game and is winless since the All-Star break. In his last three starts he has been knocked around, but we except to see #VolquezPower continue his career dominance against the Marlins and extend his career record against them to 6-0. The Pirates reclamation project has been a solid back of the rotation starter, but needs to watch out for Garrett Jones who has three bombs off Eddie. Keep an eye on the velocity and the changeup from the right hander.
We want to thank Tom for getting us up to speed on the latest Pirates news. This series is going to be important for the Fish if they want to continue their distant hopes of a playoff run. Let us know your predictions below!