The game starts at 7:05 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
Pirate lineup: Starling Marte LF, Jordy Mercer 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Russ Martin C, Garrett Jones RF, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Clint Barmes SS and Charlie Morton P.
JT takes a seat for the second day, hmmm. Guess it's six of one, half dozen of the other: JT is batting .282 while Gaby is hitting .226, but Tabata's OPS+ is 115, Sanchez's 113. Neil Walker is reported to be in Washington, but hasn't been added to the active roster, so we'll see what's up with that; maybe it will just be a late move before tonight's game..
National lineup: Bryce Harper LF, Anthony Rendon 2B, Ryan Zimmerman 3B, Adam LaRoche 1B, Jayson Werth RF, Ian Desmond SS, Denard Span CF, Wilson Ramos C and Dan Haren P.
The Nats came out cold after the break, scoring just five runs in a three game set against the Dodgers, and hopefully their bats will remain chilly until the Bucs get out of town. In fact, the Nats just fired hitting coach Rick Eckstein today and replaced him with Rick Schu, their minor league hitting coordinator.
It should be interesting series. The Pirates team batting average is .243 and they put up 3.82 runs per game. Washington's BA is .241 with 3.69 RPG. The Bucs were 2-for-27 with RISP last series and the Nats were 2-for-26. Somehow, we don't think those numbers are the coaches fault.
- Jason Grilli recorded his league leading 30th save yesterday in the team’s 96th game. It’s the fastest a Pirate has reached 30 since saves became an official statistic in 1969.
- Garrett Jones has homered in back-to-back games for the first time since April 28th-29th.
- Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times (free registration needed) has the Pirate FO in hot and heavy on Matt Garza and also looking at Nate Scheirholtz.
- ESPN takes a look at the top pitching performances of "...pitchers who can make a case as a Cy Young contender..." and Jeff Locke's game is included. Maybe he's not as under the radar as we think.
- The Washington Post's Dave Scheinin welcomes Pittsburgh to town with another "Is This The Year?" article.
- Baseball America lists Alex Dickerson, Altoona 1B, on its Hot Sheet. They also caution on Jameson Taillon and Luis Heredia, and praise DSL player Michael de la Cruz.
- Ronny Cedeno, who had a line of .220/.260/.298 for the Astros, was DFA'ed.