Pitchers: Jeff Locke (6-5, 5.44) faces Kenta Maeda (6-4, 2.64). With Jeff, it's always a question of which guy shows up - the one who outpitched Mad Bum in his last outing or the BP tosser of his two prior starts? The good news is that he's home, where he's 4-1/3.26 this campaign. Maeda, the 28 year old former Japanese League ace making his MLB debut tour, has been on fire since the end of May, giving up five earned runs in his last five starts, covering 29-1/3 IP, with 31 whiffs for a 3-1/ 1.52 slash over that span. He's also working on an extra day's rest. But hey, after Bumgarner, we know Jeff is willing to take on all comers, and he has tossed five outings where he's given up two or fewer runs.
|Jeff goes for win #7; he and Jon Niese share the team lead with 6 each (photo Associated Press)|
Lineup: JJ 1B, Starling Marte LF, Cutch CF, David Freese 3B, Matt Joyce RF, Josh Harrison 2B, Jordy SS, Erik kratz C, Locke P. Keep an eye on starling - he was a little gimpy last night, so he may not be at full strength, at leasy running, tonight. El Coffee is still MIA.
- Gregory Polanco out again with left leg discomfort; his availability tonight is undetermined.
- The Bucs are murder on bubble guys. Nick Tepesch was DFA'd after the Pirates pounded him last night.
- Tyler Glasnow & Josh Bell are part of this week's Baseball America Prospects Hot Sheet.