Kelly has been the Cardinal version of Jeanmar Gomez. He was solid in his last outing against the Braves, losing 2-0, and earned another start with that effort. The game starts at 7:05 and will be aired by the MLB Network as the Thursday Night Showcase, Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan. Should be a nice night, too, as the rain has moved out as of now and the sun is beaming.
Pirate lineup: Starling Marte LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Garrett Jones
1B, Tony Sanchez C, Jose Tabata RF, Jordy Mercer SS and Charlie Morton P.
Russ Martin is out; let's hope after a remarkable stretch of good health that the Pirate catchers are going down like dominoes. Without him, Hurdle is going back to stacking Pedro and Garrett Jones in the lineup. Jordy Mercer gets the call at short.
Cardinal lineup: 2B Matt Carpenter, RF Carlos Beltran, 1B Allen Craig, LF Matt Holliday, 3B David Freese, CF Jon Jay, C Tony Cruz, SS Pete Kozma and P Joe Kelly.
- Remember the black hole in the batting order when SS was due up? In the past four weeks, Clint Barmes has hit .314 and Jordy Mercer .277.
- Pittsburgh is in line to become the first team to sweep the Cardinals in series of five games or more since the NY Giants won six from St. Louis in September, 1916.
- The Pirates are 23 + games over .500 entering August for the first time since 1972.
- With a 14-12 record in July, the Pirates have posted four straight winning months to start a season for the first time since 1991 and for just the 15th time in club history (since 1887).
- David Cameron of Fangraphs posts "the Pirates are just the National League version of the A’s," and in a good way.
- Former Bucco Sean Burnett is out for year with torn flexor tendon in his elbow.