James McDonald climbs the mound tonight against Kyle McClellan. The game starts at 8:15 PM and will be aired on Root Sports.
The lineup: Jose Tabata LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Lyle Overbay 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Matt Diaz RF, Jason Jaramillo C, Ronny Cedeno SS, James McDonald P.
Some selected early number crunching:
-- Joel Hanrahan is picking up where he left off last season, when he had 100 K in 69-2/3 innings (12.9 K/9 innings) of work. He's got five whiffs in 3-1/3 frames early on, averaging 13.5 K per nine.
-- The Pirates pitching staff is fourth in the NL with a 2.83 ERA (5.00 in 2010), but the peripherals are still shy; they're fourth in hits surrendered, second in walks allowed, slightly below average in K's, and their WHIP is 1.457; only three teams allow more runners. The saving grace is that they've only given up one long ball, Alphonso Soriano's solo shot, in 35 innings.
-- The hitters seem to doing OK under Clint Hurdle and Gregg Richie. They average 4.5 runs per game and have a .269 team BA (3.6/.242 in 2010), both a little above league average. His more aggressive plate approach so far has the Bucs leading the league in walks (13) and strikeouts (39).
-- Darren Rovell of CNBC's Sports Biz checked out two essential benchmarks of the baseball industry, ticket and beer prices. Pittsburgh is among the lowest for both.