© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pirates Look to Get Back on Track vs Mets

The Bucs look for a win over New York to creep closer into the playoff picture.

July 27, 2018 - 4:58 pm

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – After falling in their last two contests the Pirates will look to get back in the win column at home against New York on Friday night. After coming from behind to tie the game twice early on, the Pirates (53-51) cooled down while the Mets (43-57) continued to stay hot resulting in a 12-6 loss.

Despite the defeat, the Pirates still enter today 3.5 games back of the second spot in the National League Wild Card race. The Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks are the two teams that stand between the Bucs and the Atlanta Braves, who are currently possess the second spot. The first wild card spot is held by the Milwaukee Brewers.

On the mound for the Pirates this evening will be veteran right hander, Ivan Nova. In 19 starts this season, Nova has gone 6-6 with a 4.28 earned run average. Nova earned his sixth win of the season after going 6.2 innings allowing two runs off of five hits in the Pirates 9-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on July 22. In five career starts against the Mets, Nova is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA.

Opposing Nova will be left hander, Jason Vargas. The Mets recently activated Vargas off of the disabled list, where he had been since being placed there on June 24 with a strained right calf. Vargas is 2-6 with an 8.60 ERA in nine starts this season with the Mets. In his last outing at the major level, Vargas earned his eighth loss of the season after allowing seven runs in 2.1 innings of work in the Mets 10-8 loss to the Rockies on June 19. Vargas has faced the Pirates four times in his career, three as a reliever and once as a starter. He is 1-0 with a 9.00 ERA in those four outings.

Back in the lineup for the Pirates is third basemen, David Freese. Freese is hitting .291 in the 38 games that he has played in at PNC Park this season, including last night where he homered and walked twice. In his last nine games, Freese is 8-23 with a homerun in four runs batted in. Another key bat in the Pirates lineup this evening is second basemen, Josh Harrison. Since the return from his hamstring injury, Harrison has gone 4-11 with two homeruns and five rbi. Harrison has hit safely in his last 11 games against the Mets and has a career batting average of .309 against New York.

Following their game tonight, the Pirates will take on the Mets in twice more before having a day off. Following their day off the Bucs will play the Cubs in a quick two game set before starting a three game weekend series against the St. Louis Cardinals.