Monday, September 12, 2016

Series Preview - Pirates at Phillies: September 12th to September 15th

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 7:05
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

Pirates 69-72, 3rd place in the N.L. Central, 21 games behind the Cubs
Phillies 63-80, 4th place in the N.L. East, 22 games behind the Nationals

Pirates Probables:  Gerrit Cole (7-9, 3.55), Ivan Nova (5-0, 2.53), Steven Brault (0-2, 3.38), Chad Kuhl (3-3, 4.09)
Phillies Probables:  Jeremy Hellickson (10-9, 3.90), Alec Asher (1-0, 0.00), Jake Thompson (1-5, 6.05), Jared Eickhoff (10-13, 3.73)

At the Ballpark:  It's hard to believe, but other than some theme nights there aren't any special giveaways for this four-game weekday series with the Pirates.  Should be plenty of leg room at the ballpark this week!

Pirates Leaders
Average:  Starling Marte - .311
Runs:  Gregory Polanco - 73
Home Runs:  Gregory Polanco - 21
RBIs:  Gregory Polanco - 82
Stolen Bases:  Starling Marte - 47

Wins:  Jeff Locke and Juan Nicasio - 9
Strikeouts:  Juan Nicasio - 122
Saves:  Mark Melancon - 30

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Cesar Hernandez - .290
Runs:  Odubel Herrera - 72
Home Runs:  Maikel Franco - 22
RBIs:  Maikel Franco - 73
Stolen Bases:  Odubel Herrera - 20

Wins:  Jared Eickhoff and Jeremy Hellickson - 10
ERA:  Jared Eickhoff - 3.73
Strikeouts:  Vince Velasquez - 152
Saves:  Jeanmar Gomez - 36

1970 Topps #532
1970 Topps #6
1970 Topps Appreciation:  Danny Murtaugh and Grant Jackson just missed each other in Pittsburgh as the long-time manager's last season at the helm for the Pirates was 1976 and Jackson joined the club in 1977.

Murtaugh guided the Pirates to two World Series titles in 1960 and 1971.  Until looking at this career managerial record, I had no idea that Murtaugh had four different stints at the helm of the Pirates - 1957 to 1964, 1967, 1970 to 1971 and 1973 to 1976.  Before his managing days, Murtaugh was a semi-successful infielder in the Majors for parts of nine seasons between 1941 and 1951.  His career was put on hold for two years while he served in the military.  With the Phillies between 1941 and 1946, Murtaugh hit .246 and was the team's starting second baseman in 1943.  It looks as if his only baseball card representing his time with the Phillies can be found within the 1943 team issued picture pack set.  (And good luck finding that!)

I featured Jackson's 1979 Topps Pirates card in this series preview post from 2012, and I had this to say about the pitcher:
Jackson began his 18-year career with six seasons with the Phillies.  Initially a relief pitcher, Jackson developed into a semi-reliable starting pitcher for the Phils in the late 1960s.  Between 1965 and 1970, he went 23-43 with a 3.99 ERA.  Jackson was traded to the Orioles following the 1970 season in the deal that brought Roger Freed to Philly.  Not counting his 1 game appearance in 1982, Jackson spent five full seasons with the Pirates between 1977 and 1981.  He pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings against the Orioles in the 1979 World Series.

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