Pirates (1-2) at Dodgers (1-2)
10:10 PM–Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
After yesterday’s deflating loss to the Cubs, the Bucs headed out west for a six-game swing that begins tonight in LA. The game is late, obviously, and will be televised by ROOT after the 7:00 Pens game ends (there shouldn’t be a conflict).
You are now looking at the new Yankees of the NL. Los Angeles has the highest payroll in the league at $214 million, and as you’d obviously expect they’ve got a dangerous club. Even when they weren’t dangerous, the Bucs have struggled mightily in Chavez Ravine of late, failing to win a series there since 2000. Like our Bucs, LA is also off to a slow start at the plate and only scored 7 runs in their opening series (the Bucs scored 6), which they lost to the defending champion Giants.
This game starts a stretch of 29 straight games for the Bucs against teams that were .500 or better last season. Yikes.
Jonathan Sanchez (2012: 1-9, 8.07) vs. Zack Greinke (2012: 15-5, 3.48)
Oooooohhhh boy. This one could get messy. Sanchez, of course, made the club despite a spring that didn’t exactly convince many people he’s going to be any better than he was in 2012…and in 2012, he was the worst starting pitcher in the majors. He did have two good spring starts in a row at one point, which is pretty much why he made the team (well, that and the fact that the Bucs didn’t have any other real options). Sanchez is prone to extreme wildness and probably will have problems tonight, but he IS capable of pitching quite well. He’s always shown the ability to get a lot of strikeouts, so if he can harness his control (an enormous if), he could light it up. But he probably won’t.
Greinke signed a 6 year $159M deal with the free-spending Dodgers this winter and promptly had some elbow issues in the spring, which is why he’s all the way back in the fourth spot in the rotation. He’s obviously quite good and can strike out a bunch, although the Pirates have actually done an OK job against him in the past and he might be on a short leash tonight with the elbow issues. That said, you saw how bad the Bucco offense looked against some mediocre Cubs pitching. It’s hard to say it’s going to be any better tonight.
Dodgers vs. Sanchez // Bucs vs. Greinke
LET’S GO BUCS!
PHOTO: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports