Eddie bounced back from his worst start of the season against the Reds on the 18th (eight earned runs) to toss an eight inning gem against Tampa Bay in his last outing. When he's good he's usually very good, giving two earned runs or fewer in 10 of his first 15 starting assignments. The Mets have been a thorn in his paw, though. Volquez overall is 1-5 with a 6.63 ERA in eight career starts versus the Metropolitans.
Colon is hot, going 6-0 with a 1.58 ERA in his last seven starts. His run of seven straight outings allowing two earned runs or fewer matches the longest streak of his career. He's a fastball/slider guy, and cut back some on the heater to work in more of his breaking pitch, which has been quite effective lately. Bartolo has been murder on the Bucs, with a career 4-1 record and 1.22 ERA.
The lineup: Gregory Polanco RF, Starling Marte CF, Neil Walker 2B, Ike Davis 1B, Josh Harrison LF, Pedro 3B, Jordy Mercer SS, Chris Stewart C and Volquez P. Hurdle is taking full advantage of tomorrow's off day. Russ gets a three day blow thanks to back-to-back day games, allowing Stew to catch, and Cutch earns a two day holiday. With 13 straight games heading to the All-Star break, it's a natural break time; we just hope Russ hasn't been banged up again, as Cutch's off day was previously announced.
The game starts at 1:35 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
- Cutch is the first Pittsburgh player with 20 extra-base hits in one month since Brian Giles (June 2001). The last Bucco with more than 20 extra-base hits in one month was Willie Stargell, who had 22 in June 1971. That's pretty fast company. Andrew also has an eight game hitting streak.
- On the farm: Pirates' All-Star Future Games representative, Bradenton Marauder OF Josh Bell, has a 14-game hitting streak. Bell currently ranks first in the Florida State League in total bases (148), second in slugging (.519), third in hitting (.337) and RBI (49) and is tied for third in extra base hits (31). West Virginia OF Harold Ramirez has a 20-game hitting streak, which is the second-longest among all South Atlantic League hitters this season.
- Ex-Bucs: Bryan Morris has not allowed an earned run in 13 appearances (16-2/3 IP) since joining the Marlins. Jason Grilli got his first call as an Angel, and tossed a 1-2-3 eighth inning with a whiff.