Charlie is coming off a strong start against the Marlins, one where he avoided his all too common one bad inning syndrome. He's been tough against the Friars, going 3-0 with a 1.78 ERA in four career outings, with a Petco Park win under his belt from June. Morton's also solid at PNC Park, with a slate of 3-3 with a 2.09 ERA in 10 starts this season the sixth best home ERA in the NL.
Ross, the Padre ace, has tossed nine consecutive games of six or more innings allowing two or fewer earned runs since June 21st and hasn't lost since July 13th. He's a great story; Billy Beane gave up on him in Oakland and he sputtered in San Diego until the Padres converted him from a reliever to a starter in the second half of last year, and he's been lights out since.
The first-time All-Star is basically a fastball/slider guy, but his slider is a wipeout pitch; he has one of the top swing-and-miss rates in the majors and averages a K per inning. The 6-5 righty has faced the Bucs twice, and is 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA, with both starts coming last season.
The lineup: Starling Marte CF, Gregory Polanco RF, Josh Harrison 3B, Ike Davis 1B, Jordy Mercer SS< Travis Snider LF, Jayson Nix 2B, Chris Stewart C and Morton P. Neil Walker was originally in the lineup but was scratched. Clint Hurdle told the press before the game that they'd reevaluate him, and that sounds like a move to the DL is at least being contemplated. That sure makes pinch-hitting him last night a costly at-bat. Instead being backdated to August 6th, a trip the DL would start today if he's deemed hors d' combat.
The game begins at 1:35 and will be carried by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
- Josh Harrison's 13 game hitting streak is tied for the longest current NL stretch and is the longest Bucco streak since Neil Walker went 17 straight in 2012.
- Russell Martin leads all NL catchers with 19 caught stealings.
- Ex-Bucs: RHP Kevin Correia was traded to the Dodgers by the Twins.