After two ugly performances resulting in two straight losses, the Pirates head into another trap game at Coors Field tonight against Christian Friedrich and the Rockies. Friedrich has generally gotten hit pretty hard this year (5.60 ERA, 1.3 HR/9), but that ERA covers up an 8.8 K/9 rate and a 2.9 BB/9 rate, which gives him a pretty nice strikeout/walk ratio for a guy with an ERA nearing 6.00. Which is to say that as bad as Friedrich has been this year and even though he’s getting crushed pretty badly at Coors Field (1.000 OPS against at home, seven of his ten homers allowed have been at home), Friedrich can miss bats on a good night and that makes him a potentaially dangerous matchup for the Pirates.
Erik Bedard makes his first start of the second half tonight; Clint Hurdle says that they’ve been working on some mechanical issues with him to figure out why he’s been struggling recently if it’s not related to his health. Unless I’m remembering incorrectly, it seemed to me like Hurdle thinks they’ve made some progress but that he wouldn’t say more to try and keep some kind of advantage for Bedard, at least for now. I hope for both Bedard’s sake and the Pirates’ sake that Hurdle’s right. The Pirates could certainly use a strong start from Bedard tonight.
First pitch is at 8:40. Hopefully the rain stays away for those of us watching on the East Coast.