Pirates hope bizarre streak continues vs. Yankees
PITTSBURGH -- If trends were sacred, the Pittsburgh Pirates could pencil in three wins in their interleague series against the New York Yankees, which begins Friday at PNC Park.
The Pirates (6-9) have swept or been swept in every series so far in 2017.
What's more, Pittsburgh is 6-0 in games played Friday-Sunday and 0-9 in games contested Monday-Thursday.
"It's bizarre, such is this game and such is life," Pirates infielder/outfielder John Jaso said. "So you just keep going. It is April. You just keep moving on to the next one.
"If we are just working with sweeps, let's sweep this next series."
New York (10-5) is coming off of an 8-1 homestand.
"It shows this is a really good baseball team. I think people are seeing that now," catcher Austin Romine told the New York Post. Romine has been filling in for Gary Sanchez, who is on disabled list with a biceps strain.
But New York has to leave the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium to start a six-game road trip. It hasn't been as easy on the road, with the team losing four of six.
Of course, trends are just that, and they can crumble at any moment. So the Yankees will show up at PNC Park for their first trip to Pittsburgh since 2008.
Pittsburgh's latest sweep was three losses to the Cardinals in St. Louis, all by 2-1 scores.
"Just because you give up only six runs doesn't mean you're going to win games," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We played good baseball. We pitched well."
Friday's pitching matchup brings some intrigue with starters at decidedly different spots in their career.
New York veteran left-hander CC Sabathia (2-0, 1.47 ERA) has been strong after right knee surgery last fall.
"He's been great," fellow Yankees pitcher Tyler Clippard told Newsday of the 36-year-old Sabathia. "Since I got over here last year, (I've been) watching what he's done just to reinvent himself a little bit. Obviously, early in his career, he was 95, 98 (mph), but now he's the true veteran pitcher, hitting spots, changing speeds, moving in and out and up and down, and it's really working for him. It's been impressive to watch."
Pittsburgh right-hander Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 12.15 ERA) is miles behind Sabathia in terms of his place in his career. Glasnow, 23, has struggled two starts into what could be his first full major league season.
Glasnow has given up multiple runs in four of his seven innings. However, he went from two innings his first start to five his second, and the Pirates are willing to give him more time at this level.
"He has to earn it here," Hurdle said. "We can't just give it to him if the results aren't cooperating, if he's not giving us the innings we need and it's starting to complicate things on the other end. He knows that.
"However, I'm a firm believer, as I think everybody else is, that the greatest opportunity for growth is for him to pitch at this level, to meet the challenges of the game at this level."
Updated April 20, 2017