Avast ye! Talk like a Pirate Day is not until September 19th, but we can practice this weekend because I'm sure everyone on the team from Pittsburgh says things like "shiver me timbers" and "Yo ho ho".
Some fun facts are that Matt Joyce has a 1.091 OPS with 5HR and David Freese has 4HR and a .374 OBP. Okay, less fun fact and more akin to voluntarily walking the plank. Where was that 1.091 OPS with the Angels, Joyce, you blimey pain in the ass? At least at third base we got an offensive upgrade.
On a side note, I recently saw the Pirates at Petco Park and was there early for batting practice. I got to see Joyce and Freese warming up and despite my yelling "David" from the front row near his warm up spot, I couldn't get him to come over and sign a ball. So enjoy Pittsburgh you scourge. On a better note, Rick Sofield (third base coach) was super nice, let out an aaarghh, and brought me over a nearly new ball that he signed. So all hope is not lost.
The Angels haven't played the Pirates since 2013 when they swept us off to Davey Jones' locker in 3 games. There have only been 12 games total between these two teams with the and they are dead locked at 6-6 which makes this 3 game series a deciding factor in who gets the spoils of ultimate victory.
Pittsburgh has the 2nd best AVG and OBP in all of baseball, so our pitching staff has their work cut out for them. They don't hit a lot of homeruns (#23 in MLB - Angels are #25), and their K rate is right in the middle. Those bilge-sucking Pirates have some speed and have plundered the 4th most bases in MLB this year. Our catchers and pitchers have been good at cutting down running games this year, so that will be an interesting melee.
This series also kicks off a 7 game stretch were the Angels will be out to sea and a 13 game stretch of nary a day's rest.
Biggest question: Can Angels hurlers out-duel a red-hot pirate offense and keep their bats at bay to win this series?
Jered Weaver vs. Francisco Liriano
Frirday, June 3, 2016 @ 4:05PM
Weaver kicks off the series against a formidable foe.
Nick Tropeano vs. Jeff Locke
Saturday, June 4, 2016 @ 1:05PM
Tropeano hasn't faced any of the current Pirates in his short career.
Jhoulys Chacin vs. Gerrit Cole
Sunday, June 5, 2016 @10:35AM
Finally - a righty! Too bad it's Gerrit Cole