The potent Cardinal attack was held to three runs or less for the sixth time in 10 games and four hits for the fourth time in nine games last night, so the Bucs may be catching them at a good time
The lineup: Starling Marte LF, Jordy Mercer 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones 1B, Travis Snider RF, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Rod Barajas C, Clint Barmes SS, Erik Bedard P.
Guess Snider's hammy is feeling better; it's his second start. Mercer is in the two hole today, making for a pair of unlikely top-of-order guys.
- The leagues' best back end: Joel Hanrahan leads the NL in saves with 34 and Jason Grilli in holds with 27, making them the senior circuit's top set-up/closer duo.
- The dynamic duo are part of the reason why the Pirates are 25-19 in one-run games, and 11-5 in games decided by two runs. The Cardinals are the opposite end of the spectrum with a record of 12-21 in one-run games and 5-13 in two run games.
- That six-man rotation may not be set in stone; the Bucs haven't determined who's going against San Diego, their next opponent, yet.
- The Pirates trail the Reds by six in the Central and the Braves by four in the race for the first wildcard spot. They have 1-1/2 games in hand over LA and two over the Cards for the final wild card slot.
- RHP Kyle Kaminska, 23, part of the Gaby Sanchez deal, went six scoreless, hitless innings for Bradenton last night, giving up a walk and fanning five.
- West Virginia OF Gregory Polanco was placed on the DL with an ankle injury suffered earlier in the week.
- Happy B-Day Roberto Clemente. The Great One would have turned 78 today. In 18 seasons, he compiled a .317 BA, hitting over .300 in 13 of his last 14 Bucco seasons.