Game 22: Pirates (9-12) @ Braves (14-8)

The Pirates will try to salvage the series and not go 1-3 today, after the Pirates and the Braves split the first two games of the series, with the Braves winning 6-2 in the first and the Pirates winning 4-2 in the second.  After that, the Buccos dropped the third game after an abysmal performance on the field by a score of 4-3 (should have been 4-2).

Taking the mound for the Pirates today will be James McDonald for his fifth start of the season.  In his four previous starts, he has gone 0-1, but that stat is deceiving, especially on the Pirates.  His ERA of 2.78 is third lowest among all starters for the Pirates this season, and his WHIP of 1.015 is the lowest in the rotation.  Last year against the Braves, McDonlald started two games and went 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in 11 1/3 innings and did not allow a run in the 5 1/3 innings he tossed at Turner Field.

The projected starter for Atlanta today is the 6’4″ port sider Mike Minor.  In four starts this year, Minor is 2-1 with an ERA of 3.42 and his WHIP, which is second on the Braves’ pitching staff, of .987.  I’m not too excited about his WHIP combined with the anemic hitting, so he’ll most likely throw a perfect game against them.  In one game against the Pirates last season, Minor went 5 2/3 innings, tossing an ERA of 1.59.

 Pirates lineup

Braves lineup 

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