The lineup: Starling Marte CF, Alex Presley LF, Neil Walker 2B, Garrett Jones RF, Casey McGehee 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Mike McKenry C, Jordy Mercer SS, James McDonald P.
For sure your getaway day lineup. Cutch gets a blow, as does Clint Barmes and Hot Rod. Good time to get Jordy, Casey, The Fort and company some swings.
- The Pirates haven't swept a four-game series in Houston since the 1983 season (April 7-10th). A victory this afternoon would give the Pirates their fifth series sweep of the season and their first on the
road. The Bucs did sweep the Astros at Minute Maid in a three-game set last June and took a four-game set from them at PNC to open July.
- Pittsburgh has won their last five road games and is 25-26 away from home this season.
- Since 1972, the Bucs (58-42) have had 58 or more wins after 100 games six other times - 1972, 1973, 1977, 1988, 1990 and 1991. The club was 53-47 at the 100-game mark in 2011.
- At 15-7 in July, the Pirates have clinched a third consecutive winning month, something they haven't done since 1991.
- Clint Hurdle has penciled in ten different players for the two hole of the lineup so far this season. Neil Walker is the guy there the most often, with 45 appearances. The six and seven spots are even more problematic; he's batted thirteen different players sixth and eleven seventh.
- Wendy Thurm of Baseball Nation has a piece on "Pittsburgh and the Pirate Resurgence" dealing with the way a team and city bond.
- Indy LHP Jeff Locke went seven innings of shutout ball, allowing four hits, three walks, and fanning four last night. With Rudy Owens gone, he's the Bucs minor league ace in the hole.
- MLB Pit Stops' Marc Hefferan featured West Virginia OF Gregory Polanco as this week's under-the-radar performer.
- This day in history: In 1915, Honus Wagner hit a grand slam in the eighth inning of Pittsburgh’s 8-2 victory at Forbes Field. The inside-the-park round tripper made the 41-year old infielder the oldest player ever to hit a home run with the bases full, a record which lasted until 1985 when Julio Franco cranked out a grand salami.
- Phil Rogers of the LA Times wrote "Despite homering on the first pitch he saw in the big leagues, Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte could be on the move. He's being discussed in deals for Hunter Pence and Shin-Soo Choo."
- Jim Salisbury of Phillies Insider reported that "Multiple baseball sources indicated on Saturday that the Phils’ talks involving Victorino were getting warm. The Reds, Pirates, Dodgers and Giants all have interest in Victorino, and scouts from those clubs have peeked in on the Phillies lately." Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says the Phils are ready to sell their fringe pieces, but aren't sure about Pence yet.