Lohse will be pitching with an inflamed finger and was spotted in the dugout last night with a finger splint wrapped around the offending digit. The docs gave him the OK to go, so we'll see if it bothers him during the game.
The lineup: Chase d'Arnaud 3B, Matt Diaz LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Lyle Overbay 1B, Garrett Jones RF, Ronny Cedeno SS, Eric Fryer C, Charlie Morton P.
Alex Presley is still out with a bruised thumb. Diaz replaces Cedeno in the two hole and we're kinda surprised that Xavier Paul isn't there today. Our guess is that Clint Hurdle is trusting his "hot bat" instincts. Mike McKenry gets a deserved day off. Fryer is probably on short time here as Jason Jaramillo resumes catching at Indy, so he might as well earn his paycheck.
- The Pirates begin a seven game road trip against Atlanta and Philly after the game; the Cards start a seven game homestand against the Astros and Cubs while the Brewers entertain the same pair for six games. That's another reason the upcoming trip is a big one for the Pirates. If they're still hangin' around going into August, then the race should be on.
- Joe Starkey of the Tribune Review has a piece on the Pirates' day in Cranberry at the Miracle League Field. It reminds us that baseball at its best is more than a contest for standings in the W-L column, but standing in the community.
- Bert Blyleven enters the HoF today; here's a couple of articles on his career: Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register "Work Hard, Laugh Harder," and a pair from Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times "Career Highlights" and "Ten Things I Didn't Know About BB."