By Jared Lankes
The Pirates had another tough series against the Cardinals, getting swept and only one of the games was competitive and that game still ended 9-3. That’s how bad it was. However, the Pirates definitely welcomed an off day, which they haven’t had for over a month. They head into New York to face another death row of pitching that they have. They won 2 of 3 last week over the Mets in Pittsburgh, so hopefully the success vs the Mets continues into this week.
Tuesday: Jacob deGrom (3-2 2.80 ERA) vs TBD 7:10 ET
Pirates beat Jacob deGrom a week ago, but the reality is that he is still one of the best there is. Pirates have been scuffling a bit offensively lately, and facing deGrom does not help. For the Pirates, they at least moved Juan Nicasio back if not totally out of the rotation after pitching 90 pitches last Tuesday and 42 in Friday’s relief outing. It’s understandable why he’s not pitching Tuesday. The guess most people have is that Jameson Taillon would start, but he has not been down for 10 days yet. Therefore, someone would have to hit the DL for him to come back. However, he would be on almost regular rest after pitching last Wednesday.
Wednesday: Noah Syndergaard (6-2 2.00 ERA) vs TBD 7:10 ET
Pirates got to Syndergaard early in the game they faced him last week, but didn’t get to him often. Syndergaard looked more like Syndergaard for the most of the rest of that game, keeping the Mets in the game long enough for them to steal it away. The Pirates hope they can have similar success against him again on Wednesday. He will likely go up against Jeff Locke, who gave up 11 runs in 4 2/3 innings in Colorado in a sacrificial start.
Thursday: Bartolo Colon (5-3 3.08 ERA) vs TBD 7:10 ET
Everyone’s favorite Bartolo Colon starts on Thursday for New York. Not only has he brought shocking hitting capabilities this year. He has also brought good pitching this year, looking 10 years younger out there on the mound. The Pirates bats are going to have their hands full again. For the Pirates, this was supposed to be Gerrit Cole’s day but he will at least not start this game, if not go on the DL. I expect Nicasio to start here in his place. It could be Tyler Glasnow on good rest, but I don’t see that happening. If it somehow becomes Glasnow that day, that shows how much belief they have in Nicasio. Though, they could want to give Nicasio a long breather by putting him on the DL to get Taillon up for Tuesday. That could open the door for Glasnow, but we will see how this plays out.
Pirates need to find a way to get back on track against the Mets. This whole road trip is an important one for the Pirates as their schedule continues to not give them mercy. They have had success against the Mets, so winning 2 of 3 against them again would be very helpful. The pitching the Mets are bringing this series is unfavorable to the Pirates, but that’s a constant when you face the Mets. Pirates need to find a way to win some more starting this week, or they will be deep in it.