Friday, July 8, 2011


RHP James McDonald (5-4, 4.40 ERA) will face Chicago's RHP Rodrigo Lopez (1-2, 3.91 ERA) tonight. The first pitch will be at 7:05 PM and aired on Root Sports. And don't let a little rain keep you home. The clouds are supposed to break up by 4 with nothing worse than a scattered shower or two afterward. And with a big pre-game sale and t-shirt promotion, the Bucs will get this match in.

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, James McDonald P.

The Pirates are using their usual righty lineup. Harrison is back at third tonight instead of Brendan Wood; he's hitting better.
  • The Pirates will be making some roster moves soon. We'd expect Ronny Cedeno, Joe Beimel and Pedro Alvarez to be back after the All-Star break, with Jose Tabata and Jason Jaramillo to follow shortly. Evan Meek, Dewey and Steve Pearce will probably return in August with Ohlie and Chris Snyder rejoining the team in September.
  • The Bucs are one game behind the Brew Crew and Cards going into tonight's game, and even in the loss column. 
  • If Joel Hanrahan gets a save during this series, he'll break his tie with Mike Williams. They share the record for most saves before the All-Star break at 25, set by Williams in both 2002 & 2003.
  • The Bucs are 4-2 against the Cubs in 2011, and those games were played at Wrigley Field. This is the first visit to PNC this season for Chicago.
  • Neil Walker has hit safely in all 15 games (.397 BA)  he's played against the Cubs. McCutch has a 21 game streak of reaching base safely (.410 BA) versus Chicago. Pretty good duo to have in the middle of the order, hey?
  • Four runs seems to be the magic number for the Bucs this year. When they score 4+, their record is 36-6; when they score less, it's 9-36.
  • Josh Harrison turns 24 today.
  • Shane Victorino was placed on the DL today, the day after he won the vote for the last spot on the NL All-Star roster, so Giants manager Bruce Bochy will have to name a replacement. Don't get too excited, though. LA's Andre Ethier finished in second place, so he’s the likely choice. (EDIT - he was Bochy's selection to replace Victorino).

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