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Pittsburgh Pirates Matchups to Watch: May 28-June 3

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have struggled as of late and continue to lose ground in the divisional race as they play their next seven games against other struggling National League Central foes.

Things haven’t exactly gone well for the Pittsburgh Pirates as of late. The Bucs (28-24) have lost seven of their last 10 games and sit five games back in fourth place in the NL Central. The Brewers have won eight of their last 10 and have established control of the top spot in the division.

The Pirates next seven games come against the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, who sit just in front of the Bucs in the division. They have also had their share of struggles, going 5-5 in their last 10 contests.

Any series against divisional foes is bound to provide matchups that we’ve all seen before. There will also be a few first time matchups that we’ve never seen before. With that being said, here are a few of the top matchups to watch out for this week.

Sean Rodriguez vs. Jon Lester

Over the course of his long major league career, Sean Rodriguez has had nearly 2400 at-bats as a member of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Tampa Bay Rays, Atlanta Braves and Pirates. Fifty of those at-bats have come against Cubs left-hander Jon Lester.

Rodriguez has had mixed success against Lester in his career, hitting .240 (12 for 50) with three home runs and nine RBIs. He has more home runs against Lester than any other player on the Pirates current roster.

However, the veteran southpaw has gotten the better of Rodriguez on many more occasions, striking him out 20 times.

This matchup could very well not happen when Lester takes the mound against the Bucs tomorrow as Rodriguez could very well sit out the entirety of the three game series. But if it does, Rodriguez, who is hitting just .180 over his last 30 games, could be in for a long night.

Nick Kingham vs. Cubs

With the news breaking that starting pitcher Ivan Nova is heading to the disabled list with a sprained right ring finger, rookie Nick Kingham will get the nod against Lester tomorrow.

Kingham has made three career starts, sporting a 3.44 ERA and 0.76 WHIP. He has struck out 21 batters and walked just two in 18.1 innings.

But the former fourth round draft pick has never quite faced a lineup like the Cubs. Two of his three starts have come against quality teams in the Cardinals and the Brewers while the other came against the San Diego Padres.

The Cubs are an entirely different animal with guys such as Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo, who hit a home run in the second inning of the series opener today.

It will be very interesting to see how Kingham fares in his first start against Chicago’s lineup, which ranks second in the NL in runs scored. Kingham hasn’t seemed to be phased by adversity through his first few starts, but this one will certainly be a challenge for him.

Austin Meadows vs. Miles Mikolas

Against the Cardinals on Sunday, Austin Meadows faced right hander Miles Mikolas for the very first time. The young outfield prospect went 2 for 2 against Mikolas with a sacrifice fly and a stolen base.

The two will likely see each other again during the Pirates upcoming four game weekend series with the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The rematch should be interesting considering the recent success of the two players.

Mikolas, a 29-year-old who pitched from 2012-14 with the Padres and Texas Rangers, has been excellent for St. Louis this season, going 6-0 with a 2.58 ERA in 10 starts. He has punched out 51 batters and walked seven in 66.1 innings.

Meadows has had a huge impact since being called up to make his MLB debut on May 18. Going into Monday, Meadows was hitting .455 with three home runs and six RBIs. He has only struck out twice and has six multi-hit games in nine games as a major leaguer.

Jose Negron is a news/sports reporter for the Mon Valley Independent newspaper in Monessen, Pa. He has contributed Pirates coverage for Rum Bunter and Pirates Breakdown for the last two years. Jose is a 2016 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Journalism.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Interview: Pittsburgh Pirates announcer Joe Block

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Today I had the pleasure of talking to Joe Block for the latest Locked on Pirates podcast.

The Pittsburgh Pirates found a good one when they brought in Joe Block to their announce team prior to the 2016 season. He graciously granted me some time for the Locked on Pirates podcast today while the club is in San Francisco. It was a lively talk that was very eye-opening in many ways. Here ya go:

 

 

Hear Joe’s thoughts on:

  • The role of analytics and advanced stats in his broadcast.
  • The maturation of Gregory Polanco
  • The “creaminess” of the current Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen,
  • And much more!

Pittsburgh Pirates fans – Subscribe, Rate, Review!

Locked on Pirates is the semi-daily Pittsburgh Pirates podcast of choice for discerning Pirates fans.

Jason Rollison from Bucs Dugout and others will help you through the 2018 Pittsburgh Pirates season.

You can help chart the podcast’s success by subscribing to our podcast and writing a review!

We are on every podcast app that ties into iTunes, so search for us! Or, if you’re on an Android or iOS device, please just click the links below to subscribe, and while there, why not leave a review?

Using something other than these three? Just search for “Locked on Pirates” in your podcast app of choice.

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Pittsburgh Pirates

LOP’s Jason Rollison on ESPN Radio’s Adam Crowley show

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Locked on Pirates host Jason Rollison joined Adam Crowley of ESPN Radio in Pittsburgh to talk all things trade deadline. Listen in as they both try to process how the hell the Pittsburgh Pirates got Chris Archer

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates fans – Subscribe, Rate, Review!

Locked on Pirates is the semi-daily Pittsburgh Pirates podcast of choice for discerning Pirates fans.

Jason Rollison from Bucs Dugout and others will help you through the 2018 Pittsburgh Pirates season.

You can help chart the podcast’s success by subscribing to our podcast and writing a review!

We are on every podcast app that ties into iTunes, so search for us! Or, if you’re on an Android or iOS device, please just click the links below to subscribe, and while there, why not leave a review?

Using something other than these three? Just search for “Locked on Pirates” in your podcast app of choice.

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Pittsburgh Pirates

The Corey Dickerson Dilemma

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The latest episode of Locked on Pirates is LIVE. The Pittsburgh Pirates’ nine-game winning streak has re-fueled a few hot topics going around in Pirates circles.

The latest episode of Locked on Pirates is here:

 

 

Today we talk:

  • The Corey Dickerson Dilemma
  • GM Speak and why it is sometimes necessary
  • Left-handed relievers that could be available

Pittsburgh Pirates fans – Subscribe, Rate, Review!

Locked on Pirates is the semi-daily Pittsburgh Pirates podcast of choice for discerning Pirates fans.

Jason Rollison from Bucs Dugout and others will help you through the 2018 Pittsburgh Pirates season.

You can help chart the podcast’s success by subscribing to our podcast and writing a review!

We are on every podcast app that ties into iTunes, so search for us! Or, if you’re on an Android or iOS device, please just click the links below to subscribe, and while there, why not leave a review?

Using something other than these three? Just search for “Locked on Pirates” in your podcast app of choice.

Continue Reading

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