Monday, July 4, 2011

Notes on the Fourth

Happy Fourth of July, Red White and Blue peeps. This afternoon's fireworks will be lit by LHP Paul Maholm (4-9, 3.17) as he goes against the Astros' RHP Brett Myers (3-7, 4.60). The game is at 1:35 PM and will be shown on Root Sports. Good thing, too - another sell out is on the way. And we'd expect the holiday crowd to greet and treat McCutch like the All-Star Pittsburgh knows he is today.

With the ballgame, Regatta and fireworks all going on, the ol' North Shore will be hoppin' today.  It's nice to see the Bucs play an integral part in helping create the downtown scene this season.

The lineup: Alex Presley LF, Chase d'Arnaud SS, Garrett Jones RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Neil Walker 2B, Lyle Overbay 1B, Josh Harrison 3B, Mike McKenry C, Paul Maholm P.

No surprises; it's a typical RHP lineup for what Clint Hurdle has to offer. The good news is Walker is still out there, so his back issue was apparently just a little flare-up and nothing serious. And after a good couple of weeks at the dish, it looks like Brandon Wood has swung his way back to the bench.

  • Why is Kevin Correia and his 3.79 ERA in play for the All-Star game? How about because he's accounted for 25.6 percent (11-of-43) of the Pirates wins, the highest percentage for any pitcher in the Majors, according to Elias Sports Bureau. And while a pitcher's win-loss record is indeed a fragile and fickle thing, it is the ultimate measuring stick. The only other NL pitchers with 11 wins, Roy Halladay and Jair Jurrjens, are already on the team. Correia came in sixth in the player's vote, one spot removed from an automatic All Star roster position.
  • Joel Hanrahan doesn't have an All-Star bonus clause in his contract. Wonder if Bob Nutting thinks that honor is worth a little extra sugar, obligated or not? Hanny, btw, was voted in by the players, not as a coaches selection, so he's not a mandatory Bucco pick but got in thanks to peer recognition of his performance. And his peers agreed that 24 saves with a 1.41 ERA is a pretty fair performance. 

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