The Wild Card game tonight will feature a strong pitching matchup. On one side you've got the Pirates ace, Francisco Liriano, who is dominant at home. He's also a lefty who is going up against an offense that has three key left-handed hitters. On the other side you've got Johnny Cueto, who has absolutely dominated the Pirates in his career, and his two starts this year. Below is a preview of two pitchers, plus a look at some possible shift candidates on the Reds offense.
Francisco Liriano has been the second best home starter in baseball. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
2013 Stats at Home: 1.47 ERA, 72:26 K/BB in 73.2 IP
2013 Stats vs Reds: 3.70 ERA, 28:10 K/BB in 24.1 IP
Liriano's home ERA is the second best in baseball of all pitchers with 70+ innings pitched at home. His numbers against the Reds are inflated by one outing on the road where he saw a ball go under Jordy Mercer's glove, and another one go off the heel of Pedro Alvarez's glove. If those two play...
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.