Bedard has pitched better than his ERA would indicate (his FIP is 3.95), but he leads the NL in losses and has been frustratingly inconsistent. It'll bear watching in that he's working into August for only the second time since 2007 because of injuries; that's why the Pirates are so into finding extra days of rest for the lefty. The good news is that he's been effective at PNC, where in nine starts he's 2-4 with a 2.72 ERA and 1.168 WHIP.
Arizona (55-53) is third in the Western division, four games out of first. After sweeping LA, they dropped 2-of-3 to the Phils, with PNC the last stop of a 10-game road tour. Both clubs are relevant now and hope to keep it that way come September, so there should be some intensity to the four game set. Oh, and as a sidebar, Buc fans get to judge if Justin Upton would have been worth trading the farm for during the deadline. The contest starts at 7:05 and will aired on Root Sports.
The lineup: Starling Marte LF, Josh Harrison 3B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Neil Walker 2B, Garrett Jones RF, Rod Barajas C, Clint Barmes SS, Erik Bedard P.
Travis Snider and Pedro sit against the southpaw Miley; sorta expected The Fort behind the dish. It's Alvarez's second game down; maybe he's getting a little maintenance time to work on the swing or just some R&R. Then again, maybe Clint's just going with Harrison's hot bat (tho it would probably play better at short, but hey...).
- Dejan Kovacevich of the Tribune Review says it's about time for a little less of Rod Barajas and Clint Barmes and a little more of The Fort and Josh Harrison/Jordy Mercer.
- AJ Burnett was named the NL Player of the Week for 7/30-8/5. He went 2-0 with a 1.02 ERA during that span, giving up two runs on four hits over 17-2/3 innings. Cutch won the award twice during the first two weeks of July.
- Mike McKenry has a seven game hitting streak.
- RP Juan Cruz will begin his rehab stint at Altoona. He's scheduled to throw an inning tonight.
- Curve SS Brock Holt (.322) and RHP Kyle McPherson (3-5, 4.07) were promoted from Altoona to Indy.
- Indy RHP Rick VandenHurk was named the International League Pitcher of the Week, going 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA and 14 K. He's 11-3 with a 3.34 ERA for the Indians.
- Bradenton's RHP Jameson Taillon was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week today. It was the second time he received the honor this season.
- It's filtered down - the State College Spikes will host a "Salute to Zoltan" tonight, complete with bubble wrap giveaways.
- The Giants claimed lefty set-up guy Jose Mijares from KC, who is 2-2 with a 2.56 ERA and a good K rate. He was thought to be a target of the Bucs during deadline days, but the Pirates were too far up in the food chain to put a claim on him in August. We'll see what kind of deal the Royals work out for Mijares or if they pull him back. (Edit - our bad; Mijares went to the Giants for nothing other than just the claim; we're surprised that KC didn't flip him for something. He's 27, has 2 years of arb left and a five year 3.07 ERA, although his $925K contract is hefty for a non-closer.)