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 Post subject: Game 123: Pirates vs. Cardinals
PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:23 am 
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At PNC Park
Game time: 4:05PM ET
Probable starters:
STL: Michael Wacha (9-5, 3.85 ERA)
PIT: Chad Kuhl (5-8, 4.64 ERA)

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When the month of August comes rolling around, Michael Wacha's level usually rises with the heat index.

That's why it was surprising to see Wacha struggle somewhat in his last start against the Braves, an outing in which he allowed four runs on eight hits over five innings for his first career August loss. The righty will try to get back on track when his Cardinals visit the National League Central-rival Pirates on Saturday in the third of a four-game set at PNC Park.

Since debuting as a 21-year-old in 2013, Wacha has gone 6-1 with a 2.85 ERA over 17 August appearances (11 starts). The right-hander did pitch well in his first matchup with the Pirates this year, twirling a one-run performance over 6 2/3 innings on April 19 in a 2-1 victory.

Wacha will be opposed by hard-throwing righty Chad Kuhl, who's hoping to gain some footing on his home mound. In 12 starts at PNC Park this season, Kuhl has struggled to a 3-4 record and a 5.15 ERA.
If Kuhl wants a smooth afternoon, he'll have to navigate around the red-hot bat of Tommy Pham. The Cardinals' outfielder has homered in both games of this series and is batting well over .300 since the calendar flipped to August.

According to Statcast, Pham has hit 35.5 percent of his batted-ball contact with exit velocities of 95 mph or harder since the All-Star break, the second-highest "hard-hit" rate on the team during that span, behind Randal Grichuk (38.5 percent). Pham also hit the Cardinals' hardest home run of the season with a 111.4-mph shot off Pirates reliever Wade LeBlanc in Thursday's series opener.

Three things to know about this game

• The Bucs have their own hot hitter in Josh Harrison, who like Pham, has homered in each of the first two games of this series. Harrison's first-inning homer on Friday was his career-high 14th of the season, surpassing his 13 round-trippers from his All-Star campaign in 2014. While Harrison has gone deep more often, he entered Friday with a lower slugging percentage compared to this point three seasons ago (.425 this season, .490 in '14).

• One key to Andrew McCutchen's resurgent 2017 has been his elite patience at the plate, particularly against left-handed pitching. According to Statcast's detailed zone metric, the Pirates' center fielder entered Friday having swung at the sixth-lowest rate of "non-borderline" balls, or pitches completely outside even the borders and edges of the strike zone. He subsequently owns the second-highest slugging percentage against southpaws, behind Nolan Arenado (min. 75 at-bats against lefties).

• Left-handed reliever Tyler Lyons has stepped up as the Cardinals have made their push back into the thick of the division race. Lyons' scoreless inning on Thursday marked his 15th straight shutout outing since July 7, and opponents have gone 0-for-20 while whiffing on nearly one-third of their swings against his slider.


http://m.mlb.com/news/article/201708182 ... _pk=491940

#GONUTTINGSWALLET

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 Post subject: Re: Game 123: Pirates vs. Cardinals
PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:20 am 
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We had 'em all the way!

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 Post subject: Re: Game 123: Pirates vs. Cardinals
PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:44 am 
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a win!! shocking


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