J-Mick is still looking for his pre-All Star mojo. If he can kick it up a notch, the Buc chances to be part of the September fray are much improved. And what better team? McDonald tossed six scoreless innings in his last start against St. Louis on August 17 and has gone 2-1 with a 2.54 ERA in five career starts against the Redbirds. The game begins at 7:05 and will be shown on Root Sports.
The lineup: Jose Tabata LF, Travis Snider RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Mike McKenry C, Josh Harrison 2B, Clint Barmes SS, James McDonald P.
As you know, Erik Bedard was released; the Bucs called up SS Chase d'Arnaud, who played some last year in Pittsburgh (.217 with 12 SB). He was hitting .247 at Indy, but been on a little tear the past ten days, and he does upgrade the running game by about 1000%. No word on what they're gonna do about Bedard's rotation spot. He was scheduled for the Thursday off date, so the Bucs can skip his next turn all together. If so, they can use a September call-up, as his following scheduled start wouldn't be until September 4th.
- Neil Walker saw another doctor this afternoon and is day to day. We wouldn't expect him to be available for tonight's game.
- The Pirates are 68-60, the exact opposite of where they were at this point last season when the Bucs were 60-68.
- The GCL Pirates beat the rookie Red Sox today 5-2 in game one of the best of three GCL Finals. One down, one to go.