Sports Magazine

Game 105: Pirates @ Braves 08.03.16

By Kipper @pghsportsforum
Game Preview:
"Braves-Pirates preview
7:10 PM ET
Line: PIT -124
PIT: Locke (8-6 , 5.43 ERA) ATL: Whalen
Pick Center
6:01 PM ET
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves already had at least one opening in their rotation. Now they have two.
Julio Teheran, the team's All-Star Game representative, was placed on the disabled list Tuesday with a right lat strain.
Rob Whalen was promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett to start his major league debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night at Turner Field and Aaron Blair will likely be recalled to pitch in St. Louis this weekend.
The Pittsburgh rotation is also in a state of flux, with left-hander Jeff Locke moving back from the bullpen to start the middle game of the three-game series opposite Whalen, a right-hander.
Ryan Vogelsong, coming back after being hit in the face by a line drive, will start the final game against the Braves on Thursday night and Ivan Nova will make his Pirates debut on Saturday against Cincinnati in Pittsburgh.
Nova, acquired from the New York Yankees on Monday, fills the rotation spot of Francisco Liriano, who was dealt to Toronto right before the non-waiver deadline.
With the trade of Liriano following the departure of closer Mark Melancon two days earlier left Pirates fans wondering if the team had throw in the towel for this season.
The players were also left confused and manager Clint Hurdle talked to them about the moves in a meeting before the series-opening 5-3 victory over the Braves on Tuesday night.
"We understand (making roster decision) is not our job," center fielder Andrew McCutchen said. "We understand it's not what we do. We play. But there are some things that I'm sure for all of us, kind of blew us away. Where we are (mentally) is just like, 'Dang. Wow. That's crazy.' You know?"
The big drop-off for the Pirates this season has been their starting pitching.
Locke is 8-6, but has a 5.43 ERA and was sent to the bullpen to work things out after a rough start July 20.
Locke made just one relief appearance, throwing two scoreless, and hopes he's back on track.
"Maybe you need to get that fire lit, whatever the case may be," he said.
Locke is 2-2 with a 4.89 ERA in seven career starts against the Braves, the team that drafted him. He worked seven innings in an 8-2 victory in Pittsburgh on May 19.
Teheran was pulled after four innings at Colorado on July 22 because of tightness in his back near the shoulder and labored through five innings in a home loss Saturday to Philadelphia.
"Obviously, I didn't feel completely 100 percent, but I still went out there and competed like I always do," Teheran said. "It wasn't my best -- when you see 87 miles per hour with the fastball, that's not me. That's one of the things, why we decided to rest a little bit."
It is the first trip to the disabled list for Teheran, who is 3-9 despite a 2.91 ERA. The hope is that he will be able to make a rehab start and then return to the rotation after his 15 days on the DL are complete.
Whalen, 22, was acquired from the New York Mets last year and has pitched just 21 times about Class A. He was 0-1 in three starts for Triple-A Gwinnett but had a 1.93 ERA.
Whalen started the season with Double-A Mississippi and was 7-5 with a 2.49 ERA in 18 starts."

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