The Pirates are one of FOX's "National Games" this afternoon, and I hate to keep harping on this because I know it gets old, but once again the Pirates being a "National Game" is terrible news for Pirate fans, because it means that you can only legally watch the game if you live in the Pittsburgh market or a non-California NL West market. To be quite literal, the better the Pirates get, the less your MLB.tv subscription is worth. It's ridiculous.
Jeff Locke and Trevor Cahill are today's starters. Locke has had a rough go of it since the All-Star break. It seems like his control gets worse every time he takes the mound, and more and more balls are finding holes in the infield. He is the Pirate starter that I have the least confidence in right now, and it's not really even close. Cahill hasn't started since early June, as he's been on the disabled list with a hip problem. He wasn't very good before he was disabled, either, so hopefully the Pirates can get some runs on the board again this afternoon.
First pitch today is at 4:05, if you're lucky enough to be able to see it.
I am in total agreement on the Fox broadcast issue. I called DirectTV to complain about not being able to watch a Saturday Pirates game a month or so ago and was given the spiel about FCC regulations. I can understand about the broadcast being blacked out on MLB if you're in an area where it is being shown on Fox, but everywhere else you should be able to watch it with an MLB TV subscription. Evidently Fox decided that Pirates fans in Virginia would prefer to watch the Red Sox and Yankees today. Athough I will say that with the way the Pirates game went, they may have been correct.
In my opinion, there has been a disturbing trend in Locke's games since the break and it is only getting worse. I agree that he is either exhausted, hurt, or perhaps opposing teams have figured him out. Whatever the reason, it doesn't appear that this is a temporary issue that he is going to pitch his way through like Liriano and Burnett are able to do. He needs to be taken out of the rotation for a while to address the problem whatever it might be. The bullpen is not going to hold up if they have to bail out starting pitchers from the second inning on every third or fourth game as the team goes down the stretch.
I know the Pirates hesitate because they don't really have any SP depth, but at this point they probably need to shut Locke down. He's either exhausted, hurt, or both and he just keeps getting worse every time he goes out there.
Pat,this isn't meant to be a ringing endorsement of Locke,but I have a lot less confidence in AJ. His first 3 to 4 innings are fine,then it gets REALLY ugly. The other night,only Adam's single could be considered anything less than s solid hit.
Perhaps it's my lack of specific knowledge on Locke's latest starts but I have a feeling that he's going to turn it around and improve from here on out this season. Wishful thinking perhaps...???