Charlie has gone 0-3 on the road in his past five starts and again suffered from big inning syndrome against the Rox in his last outing. Morton has all the pieces; someday he connects the dots, but is still looking for consistency. But he's had luck against the Giants. He's 3-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 10 career starts against the G-Men. He was strong earlier in the year, going eight frames in a walk-off 2-1 win at PNC in May.
Tim Lincecum has sort of reinvented himself. Faced with diminished fastball velocity (89.8 per MPH per Fangraphs) he's had to become more of a pitcher. He still uses a fastball-changeup-slider toolkit, but depends less on the heat and move on the movement. Lincecum averages 8+ K per nine and has a 48% ground ball rate, and that's not a bad combo. This isn't to suggest he's nearly back to his 2008-09 form, but he is competitive again.
Oddly, he's only faced the Pirates eight times and hasn't fared very well, going 2-4 with a 4.86 ERA, although he has piled up 58 strikeouts in 46-1/3 IP.
The lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Greg Polanco RF, Cutch CF, Neil Walker 2B, Ike Davis 1B, Travis Snider LF, Jordy Mercer SS, Chris Stewart C and Morton P. Pedro is down again as Clint plays the hot sticks, and Stew is giving Russ his day-following-night game blow.
The get-away game starts at 3:45 and will be carried by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
- The Pirates, Brewers and Cards all have 49 losses. Pittsburgh is one game behind Milwaukee in the NL Central race, and now holds the second wildcard spot, 1/2 game ahead of St. Louis and 1/2 game behind Atlanta.The Pirates were nine games out on May 17th.
- Since he started getting regular time back on May 13th, Josh Harrison is hitting .303 with 15 doubles, seven home runs, 31 RBI and 11 stolen bases while committing just three errors in 174 total chances in 25 appearances at third base, 19 in left field, 19 in right field and 13 at second base.
- Home field disadvantage: With their loss last night, the Giants have lost eight of their last nine series at AT&T Park.
- The Pirates are a season-high eight games over .500.