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Series Preview: Pirates vs. Twins

The Pirates areheaded to Minnesota after getting swept by the Cubs, losing four-straight. They’re also dealing with a handful of injuries; five to be exact. Unfortunately, they’re all pitchers. Two of the five are some of the Bucs’ best bullpen arms; Chad Kuhl and Clay Holmes

Another Tough Series

The Twins are 7-2 on the year and are trying to keep their winning streak going. Pittsburgh is the clear underdog in this series in every aspect. Minnesota’s offense is incredibly powerful, as the Twins already have 16 home runs this year, while the Bucs only have nine.

Minnesota also has the 4th lowest ERA in MLB at 2.70. Compare that to the Pirates’ 3.94 and yu have a recipe for disaster. The only thing both teams are almost equal in are strikeouts, the Twins have 83, the Bucs 81.

Nelson Cruz leads the Twins in homers with three, batting .324 with 12 RBI. Colin Moran is the Bucs’ offensive leader, and has been on fire lately, belting even more home runs than Cruz.

The pitching matchup for game one tonight is Pittsburgh’s Derek Holland against Lewis Thorpe. In only one start, Holland has five strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched, while positng an ERA of 3.18.

Thorpe is making his first start for the Twins, however, he has come out of the bullpen this season. In two appearances, Thorpe has a perfect 0.00 ERA with one strikeout in 4.2 innings. 

Finding Balance

This series is going to solely depend on pitching. If the Bucs’ pitching can limit the home runs, they have a chance. However, with power bats like Josh Donaldson and Miguel Sano, the Pirates have their work cut out for them.

The Pirates’ hitting hasn’t shown up very often. Last night they had a chance to take the lead in extra innings but couldn’t do it. Pittsburgh’s hitting has been ruining good outings by their pitchers. It’s feast or famine with the Bucs this year. They either hit well and don’t pitch; or pitch well and don’t hit.

They need to find their balance and get some good momentum going if they want to win this series.

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