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Game Thread: Another Saturday night, and the Pirates are in an awful way

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Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

They ain’t got nobody with any studliness, let me tell yinz about it.

Losers of their last six and eleven of their last thirteen games, the Pirates get set to play game two of their three game series at CitiField in New York, with Trevor Williams (3-3, 4.96) set to face Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz (5-6, 4.75)

Matz is in his fifth season with the Mets, owner of a 4.13 career ERA and a 4.75 mark this year. Averaging 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings, he’s also allowing 1.9 homers per nine. He was dropped from the rotation at the beginning of July after three starts in which he allow fourteen runs in eleven and a third innings, but after three games in relief returned to a starting role, allowing two runs in each of his last two games.

Matz throws a 92 mph sinker which eh mixes in with a curve and change. This year he’s been almost equally bad against batters from both sides of the plate but in different way. Right-handers have combined for a 824 OPS on a 270/331/493 batting line that includes sixteen home runs, but left-handers have done overall even better, with a 905 OPS on a 317/380/524 line driven by a .377 BABIP. Matz will not face any left-handed batters in the Pirates’ lineup.

Williams is still trying to recapture the magic he wielded in the second half of 2018. Owner of a 2.59 ERA after five starts, he’s been battered to a tune of 6.44 over his last nine starts, wrapped around a four week stint on the injured list. His last start, five days ago against St. Louis, Williams had a credible performance for the first time since being reactivated, allowing one earned run in five innings on five hits and two walks while striking out seven.

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PIRATES

1 R Kevin Newman 2B

2 S Melky Cabrera LF

3 R Starling Marte CF

4 S Josh Bell 1B

5 S Bryan Reynolds RF

6 R Jose Osuna 3B

7 R Jung-ho Kang SS

8 R Jacob Stallings C

9 R Trevor Williams RHP

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METS

1 L Jeff McNeil RF

2 L Michael Conforto CF

3 R Pete Alonso 1B

4 L Robinson Cano 2B

5 R Wilson Ramos C

6 R Todd Frazier 3B

7 R J.D. Davis LF

8 R Amed Rosario SS

9 R Steven Matz P