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Pirates Look to Snap Four Game Skid Against the Phillies

Pirates take on Phillies in second game of a three game series

July 07, 2018 - 1:43 pm

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Having lost their previous four contests the Pirates enter Saturday looking to put an end to their early July woes as they take on Philadelphia in the second game of a three game set at PNC Park. Following their 17-5 loss to the Phillies (48-37) on Friday, July 6 the Pirates (40-47) fell to a season low seven games below .500. The Bucs enter Saturday in fourth place of the National League Central division trailing the first place Brewers by 12.5 games.

On the mound for the Pirates today will be right hander, Jameson Taillon. In 17 starts this season, Taillon has a record of 5-6 and a 4.05 earned run average. In his last start, Taillon was dealt a no decision after pitching 4.2 innings where he allowed four runs, three earned on seven hits and three walks while striking out four in the Pirates 7-5 win over the San Diego Padres on July 1. In three career starts against the Phillies Taillon has one win and one loss with a 5.68 ERA.

Opposing Taillon will be the Phillies be off season acquisition, right hander Jake Arietta. In 16 starts this season, Arietta has a record of 5-6 and a 3.54 ERA. Arietta earned a no decision in his last start after allowing two earned runs off of four hits while striking out two in 5.0 innings of work in Philadelphia’s 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals on July 1. A known Pirate killer, Arietta has a career record of 11-6 with a 3.01 ERA against the Bucs. In his one start against the Pirates this season, Arietta earned a win after allowing one hit off of one run while striking out 10 in seven innings of work on April 19.

While Arietta certainly has had a good track record against the Pirates there are a few players on their active roster who seem to hit the veteran right hander well. First basemen Josh Bell has a .412 (7-17) career average against Arietta, which includes two doubles, two homeruns, three runs batted in and four walks. Left fielder Corey Dickerson also has had success at the plate against Arietta going 4-9 (.444) with a double and a triple in his small sample size against the former Cy Young winner.

Following their game on Saturday evening, the Pirates will then wrap up their three game series against the Phillies on Sunday and then take on the Nationals and the Brewers for four games each before the MLB season pauses for the All Star Break on July 16 through July 19.