action:article | category:SPORTS | adString:SPORTS | zoneID:40

Home » Sports

October 02. 2012 8:07PM

NH's Locke makes case for spot in Bucs’ rotation next year


Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke, of Conway, N.H., pitches against the Braves during the first inning at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on Monday night. Locke earned his first major league win as the Bucs beat Atlanta, 2-1. (us presswire)

If the past month has been an audition for Jeff Locke’s future with the Pirates, he might have earned a callback.

Locke, a product of Kennett High in Conway, N.H., pitched six strong innings Monday night to earn his first career win as the Pirates beat the Atlanta Braves, 2-1, at PNC Park. He allowed one earned run on two hits, striking out six to improve his record this season to 1-3 and his career record to 1-6. He will compete for a spot in the rotation next season, but faces an uphill battle after struggling in most of his 10 career starts.

His start Monday was the best of his career, though he believes he has pitched better.

“I’m content with the win, happy with the win but not content with the performance,” he said.

Though he pitched well, he was not always efficient. He was pulled after six innings having thrown 105 pitches, 42 balls. He walked five batters and pitched himself into trouble in the second and third.

“Effectively wild I think they like to say,” Locke said. “I was all over the place at times, but able to not let them touch home plate many times.”

The biggest difference between Locke’s performance Monday and his past efforts was his ability to pitch out of trouble. He allowed his earned run and later loaded the bases in the third, but he managed to avoid a lot of damage.

“I think there were a couple things out there that really helped his growth,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “And obviously getting through the third with only giving up one run was one of them.”

Hurdle added Locke’s ability to shut down the heart of Atlanta’s order in the sixth — after the Pirates grabbed a lead — was impressive.

The 105 pitches were the most Locke has thrown in a major league appearance.

In past outings, Locke had been undone by big innings. Catcher Michael McKenry said Locke did a good job of slowing down the game. Locke agreed, saying he tried to calm down after a couple of early rough innings.

“I just took a deep breath in the dugout and settled down,” he said.

Locke was able to locate his sinker on both sides of the plate, which generated a lot of soft hits, McKenry said. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Locke was “sneaky fast.”

“Guys were coming back saying the fastball sneaks up on them a little bit,” he said.


 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Spurs' Matt Bonner will wear aew Adidas Crazy 8 shoes for Christmas Day game

Jason Saltmarsh: Runners should never have to pay for their race photos

Ex-official pleads guilty to embezzling thousands from Pembroke football nonprofit

Former New Hampshire goalie DeSmith tells his side of arrest, dismissal from team

NH hockey team moving to Maine could be worth at least $1 million in economic activity say city officials

New owners of Claremont plan to put speedway back on track

Speedway in Claremont bought for nearly $519,000

Lebanon marathoner qualifies for US Olympic Trials

Matt Bonner talks about the end of the run, making the simple play, and playing until he's 40

Ex-UNH goalie agrees to diversion,receive counseling, avoids jail

Wildcats will face Chattanooga in prime time

New England Revolution forward Charlie Davies teaches supporters how to believe

Helmetless Football? Its the new practice at UNH

CASEY DeSMITH

DeSmith officially dismissed from New Hampshire team, but can return to class as of Dec. 20

San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner (15), of Concord, N.H., shoots the ball against Boston Celtics center Tyler Zeller (44) during the second half at TD Garden.

Rapper Lil B gives shoutout to…Matt Bonner?

Manchester Central's Tyler Stratton watches his shot get by Spaulding High School (Rochester) goalie Derek Scott during a shootout at the 2012 Bauer Christmas Hockey Classic hosted at JFK Coliseum in Manchester.

VFW downsizing threatens Spaulding hockey due to loss of venue for Bingo fundraisers

Eagles notes: Kelly committed to current job

5 face riot charges in beating incident at football game

Ayotte rips top sports league commissioners for snubbing hearing on domestic violence

Manchester Monarchs sign Josh Gratton to AHL contract

Can football without helmets lead to fewer concussions?

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!