National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, September 26th
(All times eastern)
Pittsburgh Pirates (76-78) at New York Mets (70-84), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - Jeff Locke (0-2, 5.47)
New York - Jeremy Hefner (2-7, 5.79)
(Sports Network) - Young southpaw Jeff Locke can at least temporarily keep the
Pittsburgh Pirates' fleeting postseason hopes alive Wednesday when they visit
Citi Field for the third of four games against the host New York Mets.
The Pirates sit seventh in the race for the National League's two wild card
berths, 7 1/2 games behind the No. 2 slot now held by the St. Louis Cardinals.
St. Louis won on Tuesday in Houston to lower their magic number to one to
eliminate the Pirates from contention, after a summer in which Pittsburgh
contended early for the National League's Central Division before skidding in
the second half.
Locke has appeared in six games and started four times in 2012 but is still
seeking his first victory.
His most recent start came Sept. 21 at Houston, where he pitched five innings
and allowed three runs on three hits in a 7-1 loss.
Locke, who has never faced the Mets, made 10 appearances and started eight
times in the majors since debuting last season and has combined to pitch 41
1/3 innings while giving up 46 hits and 27 runs with a .280 opposition batting
New York goes with rookie righty Jeremy Hefner, who once again seeks his first
win since Aug. 4.
The 26-year-old was 2-4 on the season after tossing six innings of five-hit,
one-run ball in a 6-2 defeat of the Padres in San Diego, but has since gone
0-3 in nine appearances.
He was a 16-1 loser to Philadelphia in an ugly start on Sept. 20, failing to
retire a single batter while allowing seven runs on six innings with a walk
and no strikeouts.
Hefner has never faced the Pirates.
On Tuesday, Pedro Alvarez smacked a three-run homer and Garret Jones added a
two-run blast to lead the Pirates to a 10-6 triumph over the Mets.
Alvarez finished the game with four RBI and Jones knocked in three while Josh
Harrison added two hits and a pair for RBI for the Pirates.
"I wish that record-wise we would be doing a little better in the standings,
but this is just one of those things that when the year is over I'll be able
to reflect on," said Alvarez, who's hit a career-high 30 homers. "But right
now we are just trying to win some ball games."
Wandy Rodriguez (12-13) surrendered three runs on four hits and struck out
three over six innings to pick up his third win in five starts. Rodriguez
hasn't lost since Aug. 24.
Justin Turner and David Wright hit back-to-back homers and Ruben Tejada had
two hits and scored twice for the Mets, who had a four-game winning streak
Collin McHugh (0-3) was charged with the loss after giving up seven runs on
five hits in just 1 1/3 innings.
"I truly believe he has run out of gas," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "You
accumulate all the innings he has this year, pitching in September for the
first time. His stuff is not as crisp as his first outing."
The Mets won two of three from the Pirates in their lone series of 2012, from
May 21-23 in Pittsburgh.
09/26 10:40:47 ET