Thursday, April 12, 2012

Buc Lineup, Game Notes

Tonight's 10:10 PM game, which will be shown on Root Sports, will match RHP Jeff Karstens vs. LHP Chris Capuano. Capuano is 4-7 in 15 starts against the Bucs with a 5.79 ERA, so the Pirates get their first reprieve of the season from the Murderer's Row of pitching talent they've faced.

The lineup: Jose Tabata RF, Josh Harrison 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Casey McGehee 1B, Yamaico Navarro LF, Clint Barmes SS, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Mike McKenry C, Jeff Karstens P.

Clint Hurdle is really shaking up the lineup tonight. Harrison and Navarro are making their first starts of the young season, with Neil Walker and Alex Presley, the team's most consistent hitter, taking seats.

He may be giving Harrison and Navarro a quick quiz, as somebody has to go down Saturday when Charlie Morton returns. Alvarez playing against a lefty is no surprise; Hurdle protected him against Cliff Lee and Clayton Kershaw, but Capuano isn't at their level. McKenry gets the start as it's a night game followed by a day game.

  • The Pirates have yet to earn a base on balls off the LA staff, and have worked a MLB low five free passes in their first five games.
  • The Pittsburgh pitching staff is leading the Majors with a 2.05 team ERA.
  • The Bucs have dropped five straight games at Dodger Stadium and have lost seven of their last eight games played in LA.
  • Alex Presley has hit safely in each of the first five games and has produced a .301 BA over the last two seasons (57 games) with the Pirates.
  • In their upcoming Giant series, the Pirates will face Matt Cain, Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong. Tomorrow's 4:35 PM game will be SF's home opener. It will be an emotional return for Buster Posey, who will be playing his first regular-season game at AT&T Park since splintering his left leg last May 25th at a play at the plate.

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