Attacking Pirates' Hitters

In looking at, here is how I would attack the Pirates' hitters this week:

Starling Marte - Left Field
* Attack him up in the zone and mostly on the inside corner - using moving (sinking) fastballs.
* Also go for low/low and away OUT of the zone.
* Avoid cutters.
* Utilize curveballs and changeups.

Neil Walker - Second Base
* Attack him up and away with cutters.
* Attack him low and in with curveballs and sinkers.
* Avoid 4-seam fastballs.
* Changeups can be effective outside of the zone.

Andrew McCutchen - Center Field
* Basically just don't throw a 4-seam fastball, sinker, or cutter until there are two strikes.
* Use the outside corner, low, as much as possible.

Pedro Alvarez - Third Base
* Try something new. Anything new. As Bernie Miklasz points out today in the P-D, Alvarez has basically been Stan Musial or Mickey Mantle or Joe DiMaggio against the Cardinals in his career.
* Curveballs give him the most trouble - utilize it as often as possible.
* When you show other pitches, keep them down (or out of the zone) and nowhere near the center of the strike zone.

Russell Martin - Catcher
* Avoid 4-seamers
* Utilize sinkers, curveballs, and changeups.
* Use cutters only if you can keep them up and in or low and away.

Garrett Jones - First Base
* Avoid 4-seamers and cutters
* Utilize sinkers, curveballs, and changeups.
* Attack high and away - don't be afraid to go just off the plate.

Alex Presley - Right Field (platoon)
* Utilize changeups, curveballs, and cutters.
* Avoid 4-seamers.
* Try to jam him - or get it low out of the zone, especially with 2 strikes.

Jose Tabata - Right Field (platoon)
* Avoid 4-seamer and cutter.
* Utilize sinkers, changeups, and curveballs.
* Try to keep the ball inside on Tabata.

Clint Barmes - Shortstop
* Keep the ball down to Barmes.
* Cutters, curveballs, and changeups are particularly effective.
* Don't avoid sinkers and 4-seamers, but place them well. These are the only two pitches he has driven consistently this year.

Now, I am not going to get a chance to see the games this week, so if you get a chance to watch the games and want to see if I'm correct, keep this handy.


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