|Pedro making some magic (photo: Rick Scuteri/USA Today)|
Today's Lineup - Gregory Polanco RF, Neil Walker 2B, Cutch CF, Jung-Ho Kang 3B, Fran Cervelli C, Pedro 1B, Jordy Mercer SS, Sean Ridriguez LF, Frankie P.
Same gang as yesterday (wonder if Marte will play against the Cards?); let's hope for a little better production. This is a big opportunity for JHK, who's just hit .217 with a .294 OBP since June 1st, to prove he can make the transition from the KBO to MLB. The Pirate bench is looking a little less shiny now, with Travis Ishikawa, Gorkys Hernandez and Steve Lombardozzi joining Stew as the cavalry.
- Francisco hasn't won back-to-back starts yet this year.
- Mark the Shark is zeroing in on a couple of club mid-season records. Melancon leads the NL in saves with 27, two shy of the club record for most saves prior to the ASG, a mark held by Jason Grilli's 29 in 2013. He also has converted 25 straight save opportunities, approaching the club record for most consecutive saves in one season of 26, set by Joel Hanrahan in 2011.
- The Cardinals and the Pirates, the teams with the two best records in the NL, have nine All-Star reps, five for the Redbirds and four for the Bucs, which is 1-2 among the senior circuit. This was also the fifth straight year that Pittsburgh has had multiple reps; doesn't seem that long ago they got a mercy pick every year.
- The Pirates have two of baseball's top 50 prospects in RHP Tyler Glasnow and 1B Josh Bell per Baseball America. Both are at Altoona. Glasnow was recently promoted there, and is 2-2/2.84 with 44 K in 38 IP. Bell is hitting .310 with 46 RBI, and has drawn 36 BB to go against just 37 K in 348 PA.
- Maybe the biggest surprise on the All-Star roster was IF Brock Holt, who has turned into the Red Sox version of Josh. He's hitting .295 with a 3.1 WAR, which are pretty good numbers for a guy who's played every position this year but pitcher and catcher.
- Kevin Correia was DFA'ed by Philly today.