Sunday, July 22, 2012

Lineup, Notes As Bucs Look To Broom Fish

The Marlin's RHP Anibal Sanchez (5-6, 3.95 ERA) rolls against RHP Jeff Karstens (2-2, 4.15 ERA) as the Bucs go for the sweep this afternoon. Half of today's crowd will be scouts; Sanchez is a FA after the season and is romored to be on the trading block. Karstens brings a 13 inning home scoreless streak into the game. It's only his third PNC start of the year, and he hasn't given up a Steel City run since April. The game starts at 1:35 and will be aired on Root Sports.

The lineup: Alex Presley LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones RF, Casey McGehee 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Mike McKenry C, Jordy Mercer SS, Jeff Karstens P.

Jordy Mercer gets another start, and Mike McKenry is the day-after-night game catcher.

  • Going into today's match, Pittsburgh has won four in a row and Miami has lost four in row. The Pirates are 13 games above .500, their 2012 highwater mark.
  • Pittsburgh's bullpen has 34 saves this season spread out among six players and tied for the most in the show with the Giants. The club's 85% save rating is the top mark in MLB.  
  • Elias Sports Bureau keeps digging 'em up:  A.J. Burnett is the first Pirate pitcher to win his first 7 home decisions for Pittsburgh since Freddie Green, who racked them up from August 1959 to September 1960 at Forbes Field.
  • Altoona's RHP Phil Irwin went seven innings, giving up a run on four hits with 4 K. It was a complete game (minor league doubleheaders are 7 inning matches), his second in a row. In his last five starts, Irwin has pitched a total of 35 innings, allowing five earned runs and punching out 27 batters. 

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