MLB on Sling TV: Pirates at Dodgers, Angels at Indians on FS1; All the Action on FOX Sports Regional Networks

Aug 14, 2016 by Scott Ross

(All times Eastern, starters subject to change)

Pittsburgh Pirates (Cole 7-7, 2.94) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (McCarthy 2-2, 3.00)
4:05pm ET on FS1

Gerrit Cole hit the DL for 35 days starting in mid June, the victim of a triceps strain, and got knocked around in his first start back, giving up 5 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks in just 4 innings against the Nationals. Since then, however, he’s righted the ship, making 4 starts covering 25 ⅔ innings with a 2.45 ERA and 23 strikeouts against just 6 walks. As good as Cole is, this is beginning to feel like a lost season for the Bucs, whose offense has bottomed out. After a 9-1 win over the Rangers on May 27 the Pirates had an .801 OPS, but in the 63 games since then, their OPS has been just .681, as they’ve gone 28-35. The nosedive has been spearheaded by former MVP Andrew McCutchen, who’s posted a .635 OPS since that same win over the Rangers, and former All Star Josh Harrison, who’s OPS has been .602 over the same span. The Pirates headed into the weekend at 57-55, 14 ½ games back of the Cubs in the NL Central, but still only 2 back of the Marlins for the second Wild Card spot.

Brandon McCarthy’s return from Tommy John surgery continues to inch slowly along. The Dodgers have yet to let him throw more than 85 pitches in any of his 7 starts since joining the team July 3, and though the ERA is low, the 19 walks in 33 innings has to give you pause. Especially given that it’s a situation that is getting worse, not better, as he’s walked 10 in his last 6 ⅔ innings, with a 5.40 ERA over his last 2 starts. Despite McCarthy’s struggles, and injuries to Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-jin Ryu, among others, the Dodgers have made up 7 games on the Giants since June 27, and headed into the weekend at 64-50, just a game behind them.

Los Angeles Angels (Shoemaker 6-12, 4.07) vs. Cleveland Indians (Clevinger 0-1, 6.97)
7:10pm ET on FS1

Matt “The Cobbler” Shoemaker enjoyed one of the great WTF turn-arounds in baseball this year. Following a May 16 start against the Dodgers, he had an 8.49 ERA and 22 strikeouts versus 13 walks, but over his next 11 starts he had an ERA of 2.36 with 88 strikeouts versus just 9 walks (try to forget that the Angels wasted this excellence by going 4-7 in those games). Since then he made just 4 starts with a 4.05 ERA and 12 K’s to 5 walks – which is the real Matt Shoemaker? Only time will tell. In the meantime, the Angels are terrible, with a record of 49-65 heading into this series, 18 games back of Rangers in the AL West, but Mike Trout remains the best baseball player in the world and is worth the price of admission.

Rookie Mike Clevinger, 25, has had a rough go of it thus far, serving up 24 hits and 13 walks in just 20 ⅔ innings, and he’s yet to go more than 5 ⅓ innings, and that in his first start. But he’s getting another start thanks to Danny Salazar’s trip to the disabled list. Salazar had better get healthy quick, as the Indians (64-48 as of Friday) have watched their AL Central lead shrink from a robust 7 ½ games on July 20 to just 4 games over the Tigers.

Watch the Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Los Angeles Dodgers at 4:05pm ET, and then Los Angeles Angels vs. Cleveland Indians at 7:10pm on FS1 on Saturday by subscribing to Sling Blue..

Here’s the action from the FOX Sports regional networks across the land:

Tampa Bay Rays (Andriese 6-3, 2.90) at New York Yankees (Tanaka 8-4, 3.32)
1:05pm ET on Fox Sports Sun & YES

St. Louis Cardinals (Weaver NA) at Chicago Cubs (Hendricks 11-7, 2.17)
2:20pm ET on FOX Sports Midwest

Atlanta Braves (Whalen 1-0, 5.73) at Washington Nationals (TBD)
7:05pm ET on FOX Sports South

Arizona Diamondbacks (Bradley 4-7, 4.80) at Boston Red Sox (Buchholz 4-9, 5.64)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Arizona

Chicago White Sox (Shields 5-14, 5.43) at Miami Marlins (Conley 8-6, 3.70)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Florida

Cincinnati Reds (Straily 7-6, 3.76) at Milwaukee Brewers (Davies 9-4, 3.58)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Cincinnati & FOX Sports Wisconsin

Kansas City Royals (TBD) at Minnesota Twins (Duffey 7-8, 5.93)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Kansas City & FOX Sports North

Los Angeles Angels (Shoemaker 6-12, 4.07) at Cleveland Indians (Clevinger 0-1, 6.97)
7:10pm ET on SportsTime Ohio

San Diego Padres (Cosart 0-1, 5.79) at New York Mets (deGrom 7-5, 2.35)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports San Diego

Detroit Tigers (Boyd 3-2, 4.69) at Texas Rangers (Hamels 12-3, 2.89)
8:05pm ET on FOX Sports Detroit & FOX Sports Southwest

Watch baseball on FOX Sports Regional Networks by subscribing to Sling Blue.

All stats courtesy of ESPN, Baseball Reference, and FanGraphs

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