With a record of 22-39 and losers of 13 of their last 16 games, the Phillies have a major league worst .361 winning percentage. Their seven road wins are fewest of any big league team by a considerable margin as well. Meanwhile, the Pirates (32-27) , who have been to the National League wild card play-in game in each of the past two seasons, are trying to make their way in a tough NL Central.
In game 1 of the three-game set, the Phils will send former Pirate Kevin Correia to the mound to make his debut with his new club. Correia last pitched in the majors with the Dodgers last August. He’ll be opposed by Pirates lefty Jeff Locke, who is a terrific performer against the Phils in his career.
The two clubs split their four-games series in Philadelphia last month.
Friday, 7:05PM. Kevin Correia (0-1, 3.58 ERA in six starts for Triple-A Sacramento) vs. Jeff Locke (3-3, 5.37 ERA). The 34-year-old Correia exercised the opt-out clause in his contract with the Giants recently and was quickly signed by the Phils. In 30 career regular season starts at PNC Park, the right-handed Correia sports an 11-11 record along with a 5.09 ERA. Correia posted a 7.46 ERA in 13 big league outings after the All-Star break last season. His 17 losses in the big leagues last year were second only to A.J. Burnett‘s 18. In four career starts against the Phillies, Locke has tallied a 4-0 record along with a 1.35 ERA and a .163 batting average against. The left-handed Locke has a 3.52 ERA in six home starts this year. Ben Revere is 1-for-11 (.091 avg) in his career against Locke.
Saturday, 4:05PM. Sean O’Sullivan (1-4, 4.96 ERA) vs. Gerrit Cole (9-2, 1.73 ERA). O’Sullivan, 27, has a 0-3 record with a 7.02 ERA in three road starts this season. In three career starts against the Phillies, Cole sports a 2-1 record as well as a 2.60 ERA. The 24-year-old Cole has a 4-1 record with a 1.95 ERA in five home starts this season. Ben Revere is 5-for-9 (.556 avg) in his career against Cole.
Sunday, 1:35PM. Cole Hamels (5-5, 3.19 ERA) vs. A.J. Burnett (6-2, 2.11 ERA). Hamels has a 3-3 record with a 4.24 ERA in six road starts this season. The lefty Hamels has a 1.50 ERA in four career starts at PNC Park. Opponents are batting .159 with runners in scoring position against Hamels. The 31-year-old Hamels has a 5.21 ERA in three daytime starts this season. Former Phillies hurler Burnett has a 1.60 ERA in five home starts this season. Burnett sports a 7-9 record and a 4.78 ERA in 21 career games against the Phils. Jeff Francoeur is 2-for-15 (.133 avg) against Burnett in his career.
First baseman Ryan Howard is a .227 hitter with a .679 OPS in 60 career games against the Pirates. Howard has a .192 career batting average in 29 career games at PNC Park.
Third baseman Maikel Franco is riding a nine-game hitting streak, during which he has tallied a .444 average. Franco is batting .300 in 13 road games for the Phillies.
Phillies reliever Jonathan Papelbon has nine saves and a 0.93 ERA in 10 career appearances against the Pirates. Papelbon has notched only one save since May 20th.
Pirates closer Mark Melancon has a 1.26 ERA in 13 career appearances against the Phils. The righty Melancon has recorded 10 saves since May 20th.
Pittsburgh backstop Francisco Cervelli has a .353 batting average along with a .950 OPS in six games against the Phillies. Cervelli is batting .364 in 29 games since the end of April.
Outfielder Andrew McCutchen has a .313 average with seven homers and 25 RBI in 43 career games against the Phillies. The 28-year-old is batting .343 in 36 games since the end of April.
Phillies team OPS- .645 (30th out of 30 MLB teams)
Pirates team OPS- .696 (18th our of 30 MLB teams)
Phillies bullpen ERA- 3.30 (11th in MLB)
Pirates bullpen ERA- 2.74 (4th in MLB)