The lineup: Starling Marte LF, Travis Snider RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Neil Walker 2B, Mike McKenry C, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Clint Barmes SS, Karstens P.
The D-backs keep throwing out lefties; three of the four 'Zona starters will be southpaws this series. That's a big reason why Clint Hurdle has been playing around with the lineup this series. It's not a tactic that's exactly buffaloed the Bucs - they're 11-4 in games started by opposing lefthanders at PNC Park so far this season.
Still, when the Bucs get an overload from the left side, it does highlight the lack of a righty OF'er.
- The Reds lost 6-3 to the Brewers last night, so the Bucs are right back where they were before the Cincy series at 3-1/2 games out. Atlanta and St. Louis won, so Pittsburgh is 1/2 game behind the Braves for the top Wild Card spot and 2-1/2 games ahead of the Cards.
- Jeff Karstens enters game action with a 20 inning home scoreless streak. The record at PNC is 24-1/3 by Shawn Chacon in 2007.
- Michael McKenry has a seven-game hitting streak and went 10-for-21 (.476) with three homers and eight RBI on the Pirates recent 10-game road trip. The Fort homered eight times in his last 22 games and has a total of 11 dingers this season. If you're curious, the franchise single-season record for a catcher is 17, held by Jim Pagliaroni and dating back to 1965.
- The Bucco bullpen has recorded 40 saves this season, the most among MLB teams. The club’s 87% save rate is also first in the show. Pittsburgh posted 43 saves in 2011; the club record is 52, set in 1979. That was Chuck Tanner's World Series relief corps featuring Teke, Grant Jackson and Enrique Romo.
- David Laurila of Fangraphs has an interview piece with Cutch.
- Drew Sutton went unclaimed and was outrighted to Indy.