Latest Pirates Buzz


8:00 P.M. | TV: ESPN |

1. Josh Harrison, 3B
Harrison second in the NL with a .315 batting average, hit .345/.370/.487 vs left handed pitching this season….. Harrison is 4-5 with HR, RBI in his career vs Giants starter Madison Bumgarner
2. Jordy Mercer, SS
Mercer is 3-7 (.429) in his career vs Bumgarner……Mercer hit lefties very well this season with a line of .314/.349/.455…..From the No. 2 spot in the lineup, Mercer was 22-59 (.379/.419/.586)..
3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
McCutchen is just 2-10 (.200) in his career vs Bumgarner…….McCutchen’s numbers were down this season against lefties (.280/.392/.520)
4. Russell Martin, C
Martin is in the starting lineup but it remains to be seen if he can finish the game. Ran well during pre-game workouts…..Martin is 3-7 in his career vs Bumgarner…..
5. Starling Marte, LF
Marte was one of the best hitters in baseball down the stretch…..Post-All Star Break Marte hit .348/.408/.567 and had 8 home runs……
6. Neil Walker, 2B
Advantage San Francisco as Walker is forced to bat right handed but the Pirates second baseman was much improved this year, batting .280/.353/.374 from the right side — The Pirates lose Walker’s power when he hits right handed…..He is 3-9 vs Bumgarner
7. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
Sanchez hit just .256/.318/.429 vs lefties and is 3-9 vs Bumgarner
8. Travis Snider, RF
Snider had a very strong second half of the season, hitting .288/.356/.524 Post-All Star Break and showing some power with 9 home runs, 24 RBIs……Vs Lefties Snider was 16-42 (.381/.435/.619)….In 2013 he hit .091 vs LHP….
9. Edinson Volquez, P
Volquez led the Pirates staff in wins (13), innings pitched (192.2) and ERA (3.04 ERA).

The Pitching matchup has Vegas making the Giants the favorites tonight. Madison Bumgarner who went 18-10 with a 2.98 ERA, has two world series victories on his resume. He ranked in the top-10 in several categories. Among them was 3rd in NL in complete games (4), 4th in NL in Wins (18), 4th in NL in IP (217.1), 4th in NL in SO (219), 7th in NL in WHIP (1.09), and 8th in NL in W% (.643).
On the road, Bumgarner was 11-4 with a 2.22 ERA.
The Pirates turn to Edinson Volquez. Statistically speaking, Pirates fans should be very comfortable with Volquez starting. His numbers have been excellent over the last couple months.
Volquez led the Pirates staff in wins (13), innings pitched (192.2) and ERA (3.04 ERA). He enters tonight’s game pitching at the highest level he has pitched in years.
Volquez ended the season with 18 consecutive scoreless innings and posted a 1.08 ERA in September. Volquez went 9-1 with a 1.85 ERA in his final 17 starts.
In 17 starts at PNC Park, Volquez went 8-5 with a 3.06 ERA. Yet, there seems to be this sense of nervousness from the fan base when it comes to Volquez as manager Clint Hurdle failed to setup the Pirates rotation for one of their top two starters, Gerrit Cole or Francisco Liriano, to start tonight.
Liriano was ideal because of how bad the Giants struggle to hit lefties. Many pundits wonder if the move will end up back firing on Hurdle.
That’s the beauty of tonight’s game and this is a huge moment for Volquez individually. A dominant performance tonight — and boy some dumb team could throw $10 million at Volquez this off-season.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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