Vance hasn't started since July 8th and has given up nine runs, an opponent BA of .298 and a pair of homers in his last 14 IP (5.79 ERA). Vanimal has to find the edges of the zone again, as he did when he sizzled through his first three starts, especially with Gerrit Cole on the mend. This is probably not the ideal foe for him to get back on the bike. In two games against the Blue (2011, 2012), he has no decisions but a 10.83 ERA.
Beckett hasn't started since July 6th, missing one turn before the All-Star break to allow a cortisone shot to settle down a torn labrum and two cysts in his hip, an injury that he'll try to pitch through for the rest of the year. He's been a load this season despite the aches and owns the season's first no-hitter. Beckett has faced the Pirates three times and is 1-2, but with a sterling 2.16 ERA and 18 K in 16-2/3 IP.
The lineup: Gregory Polanco RF, Travis Snider LF, Cutch CF, Neil Walker 2B, Russ Martin C, Ike Davis 1B, Pedro 3B, Jordy Mercer SS and Worley P. Marte is down again, not really sure why.
The game starts at 7:05 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
- John Perralta of the Beaver County Times has some interesting trade rumor mongering - he's heard the Bucs are poking around Steve Cishek, Ian Kennedy, Jon Lester and AJ, plus Seattle is showing interest in prying Starling Marte away from the Bucs...
- The Buc bullpen must be deep if this is the kinda pitching they let go: Bryan Morris is 3-0/0.36 with 22 K in 25-1/3 IP for Miami while Jason Grilli is 1-1/0.96 with 9 K in 9-1/3 frames at LA. Ernesto Frieri, swapped for Grilli, is 1-1/ 9.00 with 5 K in 6 IP while Morris' return, a #39 draft pick, was turned into Connor Joe in the draft.
- The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association announced today that Josh Harrison is the Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Heart and Hustle Award winner.
- One of the best views in America? Try PNC's upper deck, says Travel & Leisure magazine.