There Was No Doubt About It

A Pittsburgh Pirates Blog

Pirates vs. Rockies vs. Rain

05.21.16 Posted by

Niese vs. Chatwood, 4:05 PM

It’s not clear if this afternoon’s game is going to take place, because it’s been raining all day, albeit the kind of soft rain that major league teams usually play through. Early word is they’re going to give it a go.

If they do, the Pirates will run Jonathan Niese out there. Niese finally put together a strong start his last time out, but it was against Atlanta. The Rockies are a considerably tougher lineup, though the upside is that if he’s strong again today, it bodes pretty well for the prospect of a turnaround. And with Locke actually pitching well and Nicasio decent, and only a few turns of the rotation left until reinforcements likely arrive, even a decent Jon Niese would go a long way to keeping things afloat.

Niese squares off against Tyler Chatwood. The Bucs missed him in the rotation last time, who’s put up good numbers this year. He’s gotten a crazy high number of ground balls (57.4%, sixth in all of baseball) and he’s left over 80% of base runners stranded. The latter is unsustainable and the former…might be (he put up similar GB% rates in 2012 and 2013, though was at just 45% in 2014).

Andrew McCutchen is getting the day off. Marte will play center (which is going to frustrate most of us who realize he should be doing that every day, though I suppose he’ll get fewer chances to throw out runners at the plate there), Polanco slides over to left, and Matt Joyce is in right.

First pitch is at 4:05 PM.

Filed under: game preview, Jonathan Niese