As you may or may not know, I am a gigantic Pittsburgh Pirates’ fan. I had the chance to attend the Bucs’ game against the Yankees Tuesday night at PNC Park. In front of a full house, the Pirates blistered the Yankees for 12 runs on 19 hits.
Even though they were shut out the next night, 10-0, Pittsburgh has shown throughout the course of the season that they can hit with anybody. They are third in the National League in runs scored.
They won’t make the playoffs this year, but perhaps they can halt the 15-year losing streak to prevent tying the Phillies for the worst streak in American professional sports history. This year is their best chance in a long time.
Here’s the weekend scouting report for MLB.com’s Beat the Streak competition.
Saturday, June 28—Picks lock at 1:02 Eastern
Derrek Lee/Aramis Ramirez, Chicago Cubs
Lee is hitting .429 against White Sox pitcher Javier Vasquez. Ramirez is hitting .438. I guess this technically is cheating to have two players count as one. It was just too difficult to separate them because of their outstanding numbers. Lee is hitting .324 in his past 10 games, Ramirez is hitting .300 with five homers in that same span.
Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
Jeter blistered the Bucs during the week, and his hot hitting should continue Saturday against the Mets. Although Johan Santana and his .249 opponent’s batting average face the Bombers and Jeter, he’s managed a .421 average (8-19) against the perennial Cy Young contender. He also has a 13-game hitting streak through Wednesday’s action.
Sunday, June 29—Picks lock at 1:00 Eastern
Casey Kotchman, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Guys like Casey Kotchman don’t get much publicity in the eastern part of the United States, but this boy can hit. He’s on pace for nearly 200 hits this season, and he is hitting an even .300 on the season. Sunday’s pitching matchup is Derek Lowe, against whom Kotchman is hitting a measly .600 (6-10). Kotchman is also hitting .326 on the road compared to .273 at home.
Milton Bradley, Texas Rangers
Bradley is on fire in the month of June. After hitting .321 in April and .326 in May, Bradley is up to .367 this month. Bradley is also hitting .429 (6-14) against soft-tossing Jamie Moyer. He’s also hitting .375 against lefties and .390 at home. I’m also 2-2 with Texas Rangers, thanks to Ian Kinsler, and I have little doubt Bradley will stop that trend.