(BaseballStL) -- Friday night’s 12-2 smack down from the Pirates wasn’t how the defending National League Championship wanted to start. But three rain delayed games later, the Cardinals will ask Joe Kelly to quiet the booming Buccos’ bats.
Kelly has given up two home runs to the Bucs, one to Russell Martin and the other to the Cardinals nemesis Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez sent two balls over the wall Friday night and Kelly will need to rely on his sinker in order to have success against the Pirates line-up.
According to Brooks Baseball, in the three starts Kelly made last season against the Pirates he saw the most success when his sinker was his dominate pitch. His sinker is swung at 44 percent of the time.
When throwing his sinker, Kelly is able to get a groundball in play 55 percent of the time while only 18 percent of those pitches are lifted into the air. After the Pirates hit three solo home runs Friday, Kelly will need his sinker to keep the baseballs from flying out of PNC Park.