Tonight’s second game of the Dodger’s four game series with the Pirates will feature a battle between two pitchers who have each thrown no-hitters. Francisco Liriano threw his in a 1-0 defeat of the White Sox back in May of 2011. Actually is was just a little over three years ago. Josh Beckett threw his in a 6-0 win over Philadelphia last Sunday. Ironically Drew Butera caught both of those games. Everything comes full circle in Baseball.
Dodgers Lineup vs. PittsburghGordon 2B Figgins 3B Puig RF Hanley SS Kemp LF Van Slyke 1B Ethier CF Butera C Beckett P
Francisco Liriano-0-5 vs. Josh Beckett-3-1
Left hander Liriano has a great year last year. He won 16 games, and finished with a 3.02 ERA, while finishing ninth in the NL Cy Young voting. So what happened to him this year? He totally fell off the map. He’s off to a horrendous start, going 0-5 with a 5.06 ERA. He’s 9.2 hits per nine, and over four walks per outing. Although he has whiffed 58 in 58 frames, so I suppose he can still miss bats.
But you know Dodger Stadium is where winless pitchers go to get healthy. Liriano has never started at Dodger stadium before, but has one win in his only start against the Dodgers, at PNC Park. Mattingly said last night that Andre Ethier will be playing against the lefty in center field. We’ll see if Donnie sticks to his words or not.
The Dodgers are just 6 for 25 (.250) against Liriano, without a home run.
The Dodgers will counter with Josh Beckett, of the no-hit fame Beckett. It’s incredible how Beckett has rediscovered his dominant pitching in 2014. He’s 3-1 this year with a 2.43 ERA, and 52 whiffs and 20 walks in nine starts. Beckett is allowing just six hits per nine this year. So limiting hits and base runners is a huge part of Beckett’s success this season. And of course pitching no-hitters certainly helps.
Becket has faced the Bucs very little over his career. The veteran is 1-1 with a 1.54 ERA in two starts against the Pirates. I don’t expect Beckett to be Johnny Vander Meer, but I do expect a quality start.
The BUc are 11 for 41 (.268) with one home run in 44 plate appearances against Beckett. The only Pirate who has had any success against Beckett is Travis Snider, who is hitting .357 (5 for 14) with a home run.
The Pirates are the worst road team in baseball with an 8-16 record, so the Dodgers should not be losing to them. Then again the Dodger are pretty bad at home, registering a 11-15 record themselves. Things don’t look good right now. Plus it won’t matter how well Beckett pitches because the bullpen will just blow it, unless he well you know.
Ok so Beckett doesn’t have to pitch a no-hitter or anything to win tonight. Who would expect that? He just has to pitch a complete game shutout. No pressure at all Josh.
We’ll have all the action for you right here after the game tonight, which begins at 7:10 PM.