By Jared Lankes
Needless to say that the Pirates fan base has been turned on its side over the last four days. After getting swept in Milwaukee, the Pirates made some trades that many fans were very confused about. There is a sense of angst and frustration surrounding the Pirates as a whole right now. However, there is still baseball to be played and a chance for the Pirates to win enough games to make the postseason, whether that’s realistic or not. It starts in Turner Field against the Braves in what is most definitely there last trip there before they open up a new stadium in 2017. The Pirates hope to rebuild confidence against a team that everyone knows is having a rough go of it.
Tuesday: Mike Foltynewicz (4-4 4.30 ERA) vs Gerrit Cole (6-6 2.78 ERA) 7:10 ET
The Pirates offense looked bad against the Brewers against some pitchers that weren’t very good. They are hoping that changes against the Braves. Foltynewicz isn’t exactly a soft landing, but there certainly isn’t much to suggest he can be lights out. For the Pirates, it’s ace Gerrit Cole. Last time Cole took the hill, he pitched a complete game, allowing just one run and didn’t even pitch 100 pitches. Not to expect he will do that again, but it looks like Cole is starting to look like the ace that we expect of him. If he pitches like that, the Pirates will have a good chance.
Wednesday: TBD vs Jeff Locke (8-6 5.43 ERA) 7:10 ET
The Braves have not yet put up a starter for this game yet. But for the Pirates, it’s good old Jeff Locke. After a brief bullpen stay, Locke returns to the Pirates rotation. Pirates hope that he can give them some stability in the rotation. He hopes to start that against his former club.
Thursday: Tyrell Jenkins (1-2 4.91 ERA) vs Ryan Vogelsong (1-1 3.74 ERA) 7:10 ET
The Braves are continuing their use of young guys in the rotation to see what they have. It’ll be Tyrell Jenkins on Thursday. The 24-year old has been less than spectacular so far as the Pirates bats wish that to continue. For the Pirates, they are going with veteran Ryan Vogelsong. Vogelsong has not been seen on the mound for the Pirates since a horrific injury to the face against the Rockies. I’m not sure about him in the starter’s role, but it sure is nice to see him back after the injury.
The Pirates are in a state of flux right now. They need to get momentum somehow or get lost in the shuffle. More or less, the Braves are just the team to help rebuild confidence. Let’s see if the Pirates can come together after the events of the recent few days and start playing better.