Salazar is known for his velocity (he sits at 95) and strikeouts with his fastball, slider, change combo, but on Tuesday changed gears and pitched to contact, carrying a no-no into the eighth while collecting his career high seventh win. We'll see if that strategy was an outlier; he still averages almost 11 K's per nine. He has never faced the Pirates. The match begins at 1:35 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
- Mark Melancon leads the NL in saves (26), two shy of the club record for most saves prior to the All-Star break (Jason Grilli had 28 in 2013). His 24 consecutive save conversions are two short of Joel Hanrahan's franchise record of 26, set in 2011.
- Fran Cervelli's start shouldn't be that much of a surprise. He's slashing .301/.376/.406 going into today; his line in 2014 was .301/.370/.432. Fran is 31 games and 70 PA's away from setting career season highs in those categories, so if anything is a surprise, it's his staying power.
- Today’s tilt marks the halfway point of the season in games played. The Pirates had a 41-40 record after 81 games last year, a 51-30 record at the midway point in 2013 and are now 46-34.
- How about that? Saturday’s game time (2:06) was two minutes shorter than Friday’s rain delay (2:08).
- The All-Star starters will be announced tonight at 7:30 on ESPN, and the rest of the club tomorrow at 7.