Jeff Locke may just be the story of the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates.
The left-handed rookie starting pitcher went 8-2 prior to the All-Star Break with a 2.15 ERA. He was the only starter from the Opening Day rotation to not miss a scheduled start until he sat out of the final game before the All-Star Break. And to be fair, he sat only as a precaution to take advantage of the upcoming break to rest his stiff back.
In the post-All Star Break world that has the Pirates 69-44 with exactly 50 games remaining, it's difficult to find flaws in the team with Major League Baseball's best record, but people will certainly try. It seems like they're starting with Jeff Locke.
Jeff Locke LAUGHS in the face of regression.
No, Locke's numbers aren't as fantastic as they were in his first 18 starts of the season when he held opposing hitters to just a .202 average at the plate. At 1-1 with a 4.03 ERA in four starts after the break with a .308 BAA, Locke's numbers appear hideous in comparison to...
Nate covers the Pirates beat for Pirates Prospects and is the Publisher of Panther Digest, covering Pitt athletics. He also serves as About.com's College Basketball Expert. You can find Nate on Twitter at @NateBarnes_