|Jay Happ opens the three game set against the Cards tonight (photo Gene Puskar/AP)|
Pittsburgh pretty much needs a sweep to unseat the Cards in the division. And it's certainly within the realm of possibility: the Cardinals have not won a series at PNC Park since April, 2012. The game starts at 7:05 and will be on ESPN 2, Root Sports, and 93.7 The Fan.
Today's Lineup - Gregory Polanco RF, Josh Harrison 3B, Cutch CF, Starling Marte LF, Neil Walker 2B, Fran Cervelli C, Pedro 1B, Jordy SS, Jay Happ P.
First team, as expected, except A-Ram's been swapped out for Josh at the hot corner; Harrison is a liftime .368 hitter v Lynn with a 1.000 OPS, in a small sample of 19 AB.
- The Bucs are 8-8 against the Cardinals this season, going 5-2 at home. Overall, the Pirates are 50-25 at home in 2015, the third straight season in which they've hit the 50-win mark at PNC Park.
- Bobby LaFromboise has quietly turned into a pretty effective LOOGY. He's unscored upon in eight appearances (6-2/3 IP), striking out eight and stranding all eight of his inherited runners.
- The Pirates have six games left, all at home, and are about 140,000 fans shy of setting a new attendance record for PNC Park.
- For magic number fans: the Cards magic number to clinch first against the Pirates is four, while the Buccos magic number to guarantee home field against the Cubs in the wild card is three.