Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lineup, News, Notes For Maholm's Homecoming

LHP Paul Maholm (8-6, 4.09 ERA) takes his familiar spot on the PNC bump as he goes against RHP James McDonald (10-3, 2.93 ERA). Maholm, who spent the first seven years of his career with the Pirates compiling a 53-73 slate, is on a roll; he's 4-0 with a 0.89 ERA in his last five games. McDonald is in a bit of a slump, but is currently enjoying a career-best five-game winning streak thanks to booming Bucco bats behind him. Something to watch for: J-Mick has allowed six first-inning runs in his last two starts. The game starts at 7:05 and will be aired by Root Sports.

The Lineup: Drew Sutton LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones RF, Casey McGehee 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Rod Barajas C, Clint Barmes SS, James McDonald P.

Drew Sutton in left...and at leadoff. Oddly, the guy he's replacing, Alex Presley, has a strong 2012 reverse split - he's hitting .283 with a .321 OBP against southpaws, but just .216/.255 against righties. It is a small sample size for this year, and lifetime he's about even with his splits (LHP - .258/.291, RHP - .263/.305).

  • Dom Cosentino of Deadspin did a major piece on Andrew McCutchen with a lot of excellent stuff.
  • Andrew Kaufman of The Bleacher Report posts "Why The Pirates Can Keep This Run Going."
  • JJ Cooper of Baseball America has a sidebar article on Alen Hanson, with a look at where his glove will play in the show. Greg Polanco is the main story, but is behind a subscriber wall.
  • Mea culpa, Ryan Dempster is still a Cub. Apparently he was miffed when Atlanta leaked news of the deal to a beat guy. He tweeted it to the world before the Chicago FO could get to Dempster, who was aware of the talks. Then again, Dempster may have just had a change of heart. He would rather, as some reports state, go to the LA Dodgers. Anyway, as a 10/5 guy in his walk year, he holds all the cards.
  • BTW, the Cubs are third in the NL with a .652 winning percentage (15-8) since June 25th.

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