Eddie has been Mr. Second Half for the Pirates. He's won seven of his last eight decisions, and while he's often working on a tightrope, he's shown a knack for dodging the potential big inning. His velocity has been a bit erratic, not too surprising considering that we're in the dog days, but as long as he's got his control in line, he's good to go. Hard to believe, but in his 10 year career, this is the first season that he's averaged less than four walks/nine innings, sitting at 3.3 in 2014.
Volquez is 1-1 with a 3.96 ERA in four starts against the Cards this year, with a couple of strong outings and one ERA-crushing clunker in April.
Miller hasn't been able to build on his 15-win freshman season in his sophomore campaign. He was briefly moved to the bullpen following the All-Star break, and hasn't fared real well since returning to the rotation with an 0-1 record and 4.01 ERA in seven starts. He's also a fastball guy, and that usually helps that Bucco cause, though he does have a curve and a show-me change.
He's been hot and cold against the Bucs with a 2-2 record this year. Miller was bombed twice, but pitched pretty well in the other couple of games, including an early season 1-0 win against Gerritt Cole. One thing he doesn't do against Pittsburgh is get deep; he hasn't lasted longer than 5-1/3 IP in any of his 2014 starts against the Buccos. Generally, the Bucs give him a hard time; he's 2-6 with a 4.98 ERA against Pittsburgh in his career.
The Lineup: Jos Harrison 3B, Andrew Lambo RF, Cutch CF, Neil Walker 2B, Russ Martin C, Ike Davis 1B, Starling Marte LF, Jordy Mercer SS and Volquez P. Man, even tho the Bucs are off tomorrow, you have to take off your hat to ironman Martin.
The game starts at 1:45 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
- Injuries: Travis may be ready to go against the Cubs, but Pedro is still among the walking wounded.
- Top Cat: Joe Lucia of The Outside Corner has an article featuring the best hitter by league last month; Josh took NL honors. He's the second Pirate to make the cut; Cutch was the Senior Circuit's best hitter in June. Harrison is looking to become the second Pirate in three months after Cutch to take home NL Player-of-the-Month honors when MaLBl announces the award winners later today