Not a good couple of days to be a Pirates fan.
After being one-hit by Johnny Cueto before dozens of fans last night, Pittsburgh was shut out again this afternoon, this time by Homer Bailey — he of the 7.24 ERA entering play today — on four hits. And there was no mucking about here. The game took two hours and nineteen minutes. The Buccos didn’t walk once. Bailey had to throw a total of 90 pitches. He could probably come out of the pen tomorrow if he had to.
This is the first time that the Reds have thrown back-to-back shutouts since Tom Browning and Jose Rijo did it to the Dodgers back in June of 1989. At least the Dodgers had the comfort of being the defending World Series champs. The Pirates? Well, they at least get to go home tonight and watch the Penguins game.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League West.
The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?
Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.
Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League West
There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.
Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?
Our 2017 AL West Previews:
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim