Saturday, September 20, 2014

Volquez v Garza, Lineup, Russ, Marte, Pitchers, Magic #, Rally Time, Home Sweet Home & More...

Edinson Volquez (12-7, 3.27) takes on Matt Garza (8-8, 3.74) tonight.

Eddie's been a gamer all year, though he's struggled to bring home his last pair of wins. But wins they were, and hopefully he can sharpen up with the finish tape within sight. He's faced the Brewers four times this year with a 2-1/2.88 slash. Volquez has been decent in three outings and was beat up a bit in the loss, but in all four outings, the righty was at worst workmanlike versus the Brew Crew.

Garza rejoined the rotation earlier this month after missing a month with an oblique injury. The right-hander has started twice against Pittsburgh this season (1-0, 6.55), allowing nine runs (eight earned), 14 hits and eight walks over 11 innings, so he's not exactly the second coming of Yovani Gallardo though Milwaukee seems to put up runs against the Bucs when he's on the hill.

The Lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Travis Snider RF, Cutch CF, Neil Walker 2B, Russ Martin C, Starling Marte LF, Ike Davis 1B, Jordy Mercer SS and Volquez P.

The game starts at 7:05 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
  • RISP Russ: Russell Martin is batting .380 with runners in scoring position.
  • Par-tay Time: Starling Marte has hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games. He ranks second with a .353 BA while Josh Harrison is third at .341 among qualifiers since the All-Star break.
  • Pitch To Win: During the month of September, the Bucco staff has held opponents to a league-low .210 BA while ranking second with a 2.37 ERA.
  • The Race: With their fifth straight win, the Pirates reduced their magic number for clinching a postseason berth to five. Their lead over Milwaukee is 4-1/2 games (five in the loss column), and they moved within one game of the Giants for the top Wild Card spot. St. Louis leads Pittsburgh by 2-1/2 games (two in the loss column) in the NL Central.
  • Good To The Last Drop: Of their NL-leading 40 come-from-behind wins, the The Pirates have claimed 21 in their final at bat. The last time they had that many last inning victories was when they took 23 in 1992.
  • Down By The Riverside: The Pirates tied a PNC Park record with 50 home wins this season (they went 50-31 last year). A victory tonight or tomorrow would give Pittsburgh 51 victories at home for the first time since going 53-28 in 1992.
  • Keep 'Em Coming: Per Tom Singer of MLB.com, the Pirates should crack the franchise's attendance record of 2,436,139, set in PNC Park's 2001 season. There's been a little confusion with the mark - most national sources list the 2001 gate at 2,464,870, but the team lists it at lower figure, and we'd guess they should know.
  • El Toro Trivia: The Pirates are 15-6 since Pedro's last start on August 26th. He may have a hard time getting through the off season in the same uniform.
  • Tony Goes South: Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects reported that Tony Sanchez will play in the Dominican League during the off season, purely as a catcher.
  • On The Farm: Tyler Glasnow was named MLB.com's Pitching Prospect of the Year.
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