Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Last Lineup of the Year...

The Braves send RHP Ben Sheets (4-4, 3.54 ERA) to the mound against Bucco ace RHP A.J. Burnett (16-9, 3.43 ERA). Sheets is retiring after today's game, and hasn't pitched since his shoulder acted up on him in late August. He'll toss a couple of innings today, followed by rookies Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran. The start will be the 250th of his career for Sheets, a former Milwaukee ace and four-time All Star, has a career record of 94-96/ 3.78 ERA and 1,323 strikeouts in 1,595-2/3 innings. AJ, 35, is living proof that Neal Huntington can occasionally swing a sweet deal. He hasn't had an ERA this low (3.43) since 2005, back in his Marlin days, and he's been both a spark and a mentor to the staff. The game begins at 12:35 and will be shown on Root Sports.

The lineup: Starling Marte LF, Alex Presley RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Josh Harrison 2B, Clint Barmes SS, Rod Barajas C, AJ Burnett P.

Bravo manager Fredi Gonzalez played seven bench guys yesterday, and had an all B-Team in by the middle of the fifth. He said today that he'd get his starters a swing or two and then sit them down before Friday's wild card game against St. Louis. The Bucs are sending out the A-Team for the finale.

  • Garrett Jones has 45 career home runs at PNC Park, which ties him with Brian Giles for the third-most in PNC Park history. Jason Bay is the all-time leader with 61 HR, followed by Craig Wilson with 47.
  • The Pirates are looking to win three consecutive games today for the first time since winning four in a row from 7/25-28.
  • For the first time since 2000 with Jason Kendall and Keith Osik, the Pirates have gotten away with using just two catchers, Hot Rod Barajas and Mike "The Fort" McKenry, during the season. What a difference a year makes -  they used eight guys behind the dish in 2011.
  • The Pirates have guranteed their best overall single season home record at PNC Park with a 45-35 mark. Their only other winning season at PNC Park came in 2006 when they finished 43-38.

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