Monday, April 1, 2013

Pirates Game 1 Preview - vs. Chicago Cubs

Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates - 1:35 p.m.
Jeff Samardzija (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. A.J. Burnett (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Lineup:

Pittsburgh (0-0)
1. Marte 7
2. Jones 9
3. McCutchen 8
4. Alvarez 5
5. Sanchez 3
6. Walker 4
7. Martin 2
8. Barmes 6
9. Burnett 1

Chicago (0-0)
1. DeJesus 8
2. Castro 6
3. Rizzo 3
4. Sori 7
5. Schierholtz 9
6. Castillo 2
7. Valbuena 5
8. Lillibridge 4
9. Samardzija 1


Opening day in Pittsburgh. While there are a ton of people that love to hate baseball and think that they sports they love are the sports that everyone should love you can just be happy that they are miserable for every single day that they have to "suffer" through baseball being on their timeline or on their TV. I am not saying that baseball is the best sport every, but I love it and if you don't like it that is more than fine but you don't need to be so angry about it.

Anyways, last years ace A.J. Burnett will be on the bump going against a guy that a lot of people really don't talk about in Jeff Samardzija. Burnett didn't have a very good spring but not erally sure that means a ton. Last year Samardzija was changed to a starter and made 28 starts, throwing 174.2 innings. His ERA was 3.81 and he boasted a WHIP of 1.22. Last season in two starts against the Pirates he went 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA, only giving up five hits and a pair of earned runs (three total runs) that included one complete games.

ESPN threw out a nice stat on Samardzija in their preview:

Jeff Samardzija had the second-highest average velocity on his fastball among qualified pitchers in the league last season (94.6). Hitters chased 29.4 percent of his fastballs out of the zone, the fifth-highest rate in the league among qualified righties last season.

Good thing the Pirates don't strike out a lot.

Gaby Sanchez getting the chance to start opening day with GFJ going into right field leaving Travis Snider on the bench. An interesting decision. Should be fun to see how it goes.

If you missed stuff last week you can read all my NL Central and Pirates preview stuff [here]

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