The game starts at 1:35 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
Pirate lineup: Starling Marte LF, Jose Tabata RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Russell Martin C, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Neil Walker 2B, Clint Barmes SS and Gerrit Cole P.
Sorta surprised that Martin is catching the day-after-night game (maybe Tony Sanchez's time is getting closer), and Barmes gets a start for Mercer, whose bat has been cooling down a bit lately.
Phil lineup: Ben Revere CF, Chase Utley 2B, Jimmy Rollins SS, Ryan Howard 1B, Domonic Brown LF, Delmon Young RF, Kevin Frandsen 3B, Carlos Ruiz C and Cole Hamels P.
Domonic Brown is becoming a monster.
- Today, Gerrit Cole can join Kaz Ishii and Jered Weaver as the only pitchers in last 40 years to win their first 5 games. (Thanks to Elias Sports Bureau).
- Starling Marte has an eight-game hitting streak and Cutch a five-gamer.
- Pedro (71) now ranks third all-time among Bucco third basemen in homers, trailing Richie Hebner (120) and Aramis Ramirez (75). Since April 17th, El Toro is hitting .277 with 21 home runs and 55 RBI in those 61 games.
- Starling Marte's 23 stolen bases before the All-Star break are the most by a Pirate since Tony Womack had 31 in 1998.
- AJ tossed a bullpen session this morning as he rehabs from a calf tear. If that goes well, he could be plugged in as early as Sunday against the Cubs. Jeanmar Gomez is another candidate for the Sunday start at Wrigley.
- Bucco fever: The Pirates have drawn more than 30,000 fans to each of their last eight home games and have averaged 35,656 fans during that spell.
- The Pirates have 52 wins with 10 games to go before the All-Star break. The franchise mark for wins before the break is 57.
- Sean Gregory of Time Magazine still isn't on the bandwagon. His piece starts with "I’m not falling for this one again" and ends with "So go Pirates. But I’ll save any excitement for September."
- Luis Heredia had a nice start at WV yesterday. He went five, giving up a run on three hits with three walks and two K, in a 3-0 loss. Remember before ramping your expectations too high for him that he's just 18 and already pitching full season A ball when the other Bucco teens are still in the GCL Rookie League.
- The Bucs have signed all but one of their selections taken in the first ten rounds; RHP Buddy Borden from Las Vegas is the only holdout. The Pirates are down to a week to come to terms with him.
- Happy Fourth; party safely. And a shout out to the folk who know freedom isn't free - our military, police, firefighters and paramedics, who never take a holiday from covering our backs.