Game 20: Pirates (8-11) @ Braves (13-7)

Last night the Braves ended the Pirates’ streak of not allowing more than five runs since the beginning of the season for eighteen games, an MLB record, when they scored six runs off of A.J. Burnett (2), Tony Watson (3), and Evan Meek (1). However, the Pirates need to shower off yesterday’s poor performance by both the offense and the pitching.

Pitching for the Braves tonight will most likely be Randall Delgado.  Delgado is just 22 years old and this will be his first career start versus the Pirates.  In three starts so far  this season, Delgado has allowed ten earned runs in 15.2 innings, earning him an ERA of  5.74.  However, he has struck out 17 batters so far this season, for a K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings pitched) of 9.8, and he has unintentionally walked nine batters for a K/BB ratio of 1.89.

Erik Bedard will be trying for his first Pirate win tonight.  In four starts this season, Bedard is 0-4 — but that isn’t indicative of his performance.  In those four starts, he has thrown 24 innings and has allowed seven earned runs, which puts his ERA at 2.63.  The reason for all his losses is simply put: the offense sucks.  The offense has given him a grand total of two runs to work with in his four starts, zero, one, one, and zero, respectively.  When you have to write out the amount of runs a team has scored behind a pitcher in four games (APA stylebook recommends that you write out any number less than 11, so any number up to ten), that pitcher will not have succcess.

Pirates’ lineup:                                                                                                 Braves lineup:

1. Presley, LF                                                                                                  1. Bourn, CF

2. Tabata, RF                                                                                                  2. Prado, LF

3. McCutchen, CF                                                                                          3. Freeman, 1B

4. Jones, 1B                                                                                                     4. Uggla, 2B

5. Walker, 2B                                                                                                  5. Heyward, RF

6. Alvarez, 3B                                                                                                 6. Ross, C

7. Barmes, SS                                                                                                  7. Francisco, 2B

8. Barajas, C                                                                                                    8. Pastornicky, SS

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