It feels like it’s a little bit early to say things like this, but for now the wild card race in the National League is awfully bunched up. Currently, the Pirates trail the Marlins by 2 1/2 games. At some point, one or two teams are going to separate themselves from this pack, and sometimes these sorts of things happen on weekends like these, though it’s only obvious in hindsight. That’s to say this: the Pirates really could use two-out-of-three this weekend against the Marlins.
Jeff Locke makes his second straight start in Gerrit Cole’s spot today. If Cole’s progressing as well as he seems to be, then Locke is presumably pitching for maybe Brandon Cumpton’s spot in the rotation right now. He’ll face Nate Eovaldi tonight, who’s one of the Marlins’ interesting young hard-throwing pitchers. The Marlins are unbelievably good in Miami (22-11 at home, 12-20 on the road), so this is going to be an interesting series in which to watch the Pirates.
First pitch tonight is at 7:10, cuz the Marlins are always difficult about their starting times for some reason.
Image credit: Praytino, Flickr