Home Pittsburgh Sports College Football North Shore Notes 7/12: Pirates v. Mets

North Shore Notes 7/12: Pirates v. Mets

The Pittsburgh Pirates open their final series of the first half tonight at PNC Park, as the New York Mets come to town for three games prior to the start of the All-Star Break Monday. Charlie Morton (1-2, 3.38 ERA) starts for the Bucs (54-36) against the Mets’ (40-48) Jeremy Hefner (4-6, 3.39).

–The Pirates avoided a sweep Wednesday night (into Thursday morning) with a 5-0 win over the Oakland Athletics. The win also ended a four-game losing streak. Francisco Liriano earned his ninth win of the season by throwing seven shutout innings, an outing that lowered his ERA to an even 2.00. But, the Pirates have now lost three series in a row for the first time all season in a stretch manager Clint Hurdle is one of the “challenges” a 162-game season presents to a team.

–Liriano (9-3, 2.00 ERA) now owns the most wins of any Pirates pitcher, despite starting his season in May due to an arm injury. Liriano has thrown 76 and two-thirds innings this season, in which he has struck out 80 batters. “Frank the Tank” has taken a decision in every single one of his 12 starts this season.

–Hefner has never started against the Pirates, but did make an appearance against the Bucs in 2012 when he pitched one perfect inning of relief on behalf of the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field July 17. Nearly a year later, Hefner makes his first start against the Pirates and comes into PNC Park riding high. Hefner owns a 1.64 ERA since June 1, the best mark of any pitcher in that time period. In his last 44 innings pitched, Hefner has allowed just eight earned runs.

–Opposite Hefner, Morton makes his sixth start for the Pirates this season. Morton took a loss in his last start against the Chicago Cubs July 6, when the Cubs rang him up for four runs on seven hits and three walks in six innings.

–On a historical note, Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte have become the first Pirate tandem to record 100 hits or more apiece before the All-Star Break. Marte (103) and McCutchen (101) are the first duo to do so since Omar Moreno and Dave Parker each entered the 1979 Break with at least 100 hits.

Lineups

Pirates

1. Starling Marte LF

2. Jose Tabata RF

3. Andrew McCutchen CF

4. Pedro Alvarez 3B

5. Russell Martin C

6. Garrett Jones 1B

7. Jordy Mercer 2B

8. Clint Barmes SS

9. Charlie Morton

Mets

1. Eric Young Jr. LF

2. Daniel Murphy 2B

3. David Wright 3B

4. Ike Davis 1B

5. Marlon Byrd RF

6. Kirk Nieuwenheis CF

7. Anthony Recker C

8. Omar Quintanilla SS

9. Jeremy Hefner P

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