Series Preview: The Tigers

Current record: 36-32, 2nd place in NL Central, 2.0 games back

Up Next: Detroit Tigers, 34-35, 3rd place in AL Central, 2.5 games back

Season Series: 1-2

Notes: When the Pirates faced the Tigers last month they set records for striking out. Verlander nearly no hit them. This month the Bucs are hitting much better, so winning the series isn’t out of the question. The main thing would be to get the ball in play agains Detroit’s pourous defense.

Familiar Faces: Jim Leyland, Octavio Dotel, Don Kelly

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH Doug Fister (1-3, 40.1 IP, 30 K, 2.68 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)
vs. RH A.J. Burnett (7-2, 69.0 IP, 58 K, 3.52 ERA, 1.28 WHIP)

Saturday: RH Max Scherzer (6-4, 78.1 IP, 100 K, 5.17 ERA, 1.52 WHIP)
vs. RH Brad Lincoln (3-2, 37.2 IP, 36 K, 3.82 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)

Sunday: RH Justin Verlander (7-4, 108.2 IP, 106 K, 2.57 ERA, 0.99 WHIP)
vs. RH Kevin Correia (3-6, 74.1 IP, 27 K, 4.12 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)

No lineups yet.

Twins Wrap Up

Scores:
Tuesday: 7-2 Win vs Minnesota. Solid effort all around. Box score.
Wednesday: 2-1 Loss vs Minnesota. No support for Bedard. Box score.
Thursday: 9-1 Win vs Minnesota. 3 HR back up a CG from JMac. Box score.

Season Record: 36-32, 2nd place in NL Central, 2.0 games back

Notes: Pedro Alvarez continued his hot streak and was joined by Andrew McCutchen, Josh Harrison and Clint Barmes. The Pirates are scoring 5.11 runs per game in June. The pitching was good enough to win all three games, but special mention goes to James McDonald for notching the first complete game of his career. He’s come a long way from the guy who couldn’t get out of the 7th last year.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh   AB   R   H  RBI  BB  SO  LOB     AVG     OBP
Harrison, RF, SS 12 3 5 1 0 1 4 0.417 0.417
McGehee, 1B 12 0 3 1 0 3 6 0.250 0.250
Walker, 2B 12 2 0 0 1 1 8 0.000 0.077
McCutchen, A, CF 11 3 7 5 2 2 1 0.636 0.692
Alvarez, 3B 9 4 4 1 2 2 2 0.444 0.545
Barmes, SS 8 1 4 1 0 2 2 0.500 0.500
Tabata, LF-RF 8 0 0 0 0 1 4 0.000 0.000
Barajas, C 6 1 1 4 0 1 4 0.167 0.167
Presley, PH-LF 6 1 2 0 0 0 0 0.333 0.333
Jones, G, RF, PH 5 1 2 3 0 1 2 0.400 0.400
McDonald, J, P 4 1 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
McKenry, C 3 0 0 0 1 1 1 0.000 0.250
Hague, PH 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0.500 0.500
Bedard, P 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
Correia, P 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000
Resop, P 0 0 0 0 1 0 0      —- 1.000
Mercer, PR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0      —-      —-
  Totals 100 17 29 17 7 16 36 0.290 0.336

Batting
Doubles (5): Barmes (11), Alvarez (12), McCutchen 2 (13), Harrison (7)
Triples (1): McCutchen (4)
Home Runs (5): Harrison (2), McCutchen (12), Barajas (7), Jones (8), Alvarez (13)

BaseRunning
SB: Harrison 2 (5), McCutchen (14), Presley (7)

Fielding
Errors: Harrison (2)
Double Plays: (Harrison-Walker-McGehee)

Pitching

Pittsburgh     IP    H    R   ER  BB  SO  HR    ERA   WHIP
McDonald, J (W, 6-3) 9.0 6 1 1 0 5 0 1.00 0.67
Bedard 6.0 4 1 1 2 7 0 1.50 1.00
Correia (W, 3-6) 5.3 4 0 0 1 2 0 0.00 0.94
Resop 2.0 2 0 0 1 1 0 0.00 1.50
Slaten 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Hughes, J 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 1.00
Grilli (L, 1-2) 1.0 2 1 1 0 0 1 9.00 2.00
Cruz, J 1.0 2 2 2 0 1 1 18.00 2.00
Watson (H, 7) 0.7 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.00 1.50
  Totals 27.0 21 5 5 5 17 2 1.67 0.96

Transactions: In a paper move, RHP Daniel McCutchen was activated from the 15-day DL and optioned to AAA where he had been rehabbing.

Series Preview: The Twins

Current record: 34-31, 2nd place in NL Central, 3.5 games back

Up Next: Minnesota Twins, 26-39, 5th place in AL Central, 8.0 games back

Season Series: 0-0, First time playing.

Notes: Minnesota is having a really rough year. The pitching is giving up 5.4 runs per game, highest in the majors outside of Colorado. They can still put some runs up on the board, however. Trevor Plouffe is astonishingly the hottest hitter in the majors this month and is up to 14 homers on the year. Joe Mauer still hits like Joe Mauer when he’s in the lineup and not making shampoo commericals. Justin Morneau looked like he had recovered from his concussion in May but has slumped in June. Simply put, these are game the Bucs should win.

Familiar Faces: Ryan Doumit, Matt Capps

Probable Pitchers
Tuesday: LH Scott Diamond (5-2, 50.2 IP, 29 K, 2.13 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)
vs. RH Kevin Correia (2-6, 69.0 IP, 25 K, 4.43 ERA, 1.32 WHIP)

Diamond’s been the only bright spot on a horrible Twins staff this year. Correia hasn’t won at PNC since last June 22.

Wednesday: LH Francisco Liriano (1-7, 57.2 IP, 59 K, 6.24 ERA, 1.60 WHIP)
vs. LH Erik Bedard (4-7, 66.0 IP, 62 K, 4.36 ERA, 1.45 WHIP)

In four starts since moving back into the roatation, Liriano’s been okay: almost 6 IP per start and has lowered his ERA by over two runs. He still walks too many on most days, but if he’s on he could carve up this Pirates team. Bedard looks to bounce back from a rough outing.

Thursday: RH Liam Hendriks (0-3, 23.0 IP, 14 K, 7.83 ERA, 1.87 WHIP)
vs. RH James McDonald (5-3, 81.1 IP, 78 K, 2.32 ERA, 0.98 WHIP)

The young Aussie will get plenty of chances to see if he can stick around with Minnesota out of the race already. JMac continues to build his resume for an All-Star bid.

No lineups yet.

Indians Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 2-0 Loss at Cleveland. James McDonald did his part. Box score.
Saturday: 9-2 Win at Cleveland. Pedro wakes up with 2 HRs… Box score.
Sunday: 9-5 Win at Cleveland. …and follows up with 2 more. Box score.

Season Record: 34-31, 2nd place in NL Central, 3.5 games back

Notes: Any talk has to start with Pedro Alvarez flashing the talent we all know he has inside. Pedro knocked in half of the 18 runs the Pirates scored this weekend. Not to be overlooked in El Toro’s big show is Casey McGehee, who had five hits and five RBI of his own. A.J. Burnett came up big and stopped the losing streak even though he didn’t have his best stuff.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh   AB   R   H  RBI  BB  SO  LOB     AVG     OBP
Presley, LF 15 2 2 2 0 3 6 0.133 0.133
McGehee, 1B 13 4 5 5 1 3 8 0.385 0.429
McCutchen, A, CF 13 1 4 0 1 2 6 0.308 0.357
Alvarez, 3B 11 4 5 9 2 1 3 0.455 0.538
Walker, 2B 10 3 4 0 3 4 0 0.400 0.571
Jones, G, DH, RF 10 3 2 1 2 2 6 0.200 0.333
Tabata, RF 8 0 2 0 2 2 5 0.250 0.400
Barmes, SS 8 0 0 0 1 4 4 0.000 0.111
Barajas, C 7 0 0 0 1 2 4 0.000 0.125
Hague, PH-DH 5 1 2 0 0 1 2 0.400 0.400
McKenry, C 3 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.000 0.250
Harrison, SS 2 0 1 0 0 1 0 0.500 0.667
  Totals 105 18 27 17 14 26 44 0.257 0.355

Batting
Doubles (4): Walker (12), McCutchen (11), Alvarez (11), Tabata (12)
Home Runs (7): Alvarez 4 (12), McGehee (3), Presley 2 (5)

BaseRunning
SB: Walker 2 (7), Tabata (8)
CS: Harrison (2)

Fielding
Double Plays: (Presley-Barajas), (Walker-Barmes-McGehee), (Hughes-Barmes-McGehee

Pitching

Pittsburgh     IP    H    R   ER  BB  SO  HR    ERA   WHIP
Burnett, AJ(W, 7-2) 6.7 6 2 2 4 2 2 2.70 1.50
McDonald, J(L, 5-3) 6.0 3 1 1 2 5 0 1.50 0.83
Hughes, J(H, 5) 3.3 2 1 1 0 0 0 2.70 0.60
Lincoln 3.3 8 4 4 1 2 1 10.80 2.70
Watson(W, 4-0) 2.7 3 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 1.13
Grilli 1.7 0 1 1 2 3 0 5.40 1.20
Hanrahan 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 1.00
Slaten 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
Cruz, J 0.3 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 3.00
  Totals 26.0 24 9 9 9 16 3 3.12 1.27

Transactions: none

Series Preview: The Indians

Current record: 32-31, 3rd place in NL Central, 4.0 games back

Up Next: Cleveland Indians, 33-30, 2nd place in AL Central, 1.0 game back

Season Series: 0-1, First time playing.

Notes: Like the Orioles, the Indians are over .500 despite a negative run differential. Like the Orioles, their pitching is weak and they need to out hit their opponent to win. Like the Orioles, they have one of the best young catchers in the game: Carlos Santana. Like the Orioles, they haven’t lost to the Pirates this season. Hopefully, the similarities end there and the Bucs can take the next two games.

Familiar Faces: None

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH James McDonald (2-6, 81.1 IP, 59 K, 4.76 ERA, 1.44 WHIP)
vs. RH Justin Masterson (5-2, 67.0 IP, 51 K, 3.49 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)

Saturday: RH A.J. Burnett (6-2, 62.1 IP, 56 K, 3.61 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)
vs. RH Ubaldo Jimenez (6-4, 69.2 IP, 44 K, 4.91 ERA, 1.59 WHIP)

Sunday: RH Brad Lincoln (3-2, 34.1 IP, 34 K, 3.15 ERA, 1.22 WHIP)
vs. RH Jeanmar Gomez (4-5, 63.0 IP, 31 K, 4.71 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)

Orioles Wrap Up

Scores:
Tuesday: 6-8 Loss at Baltimore. Bad pitching. Box score.
Wednesday: 1-7 Loss at Baltimore. Bad pitching. Box score.
Thursday: 6-12 Loss at Baltimore. Bad pitching. Box score.

Season Record: 32-30, 2nd place in NL Central, 3.0 games back

Notes: Swept. For the first time this year the Bucs has no pitchers do anything good for a whole series. The best you could say about any of them is that Correia at least gave the team six innings. Its a shame too, because it wasted some pretty good hitting. Casey McGehee and Jose Tabata each has 5 hits. Also on the good side: no runners caught stealing or picked off.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh   AB    R    H  RBI  BB  SO  LOB     AVG     OBP
Walker, 2B 15 1 2 4 0 5 7 0.133 0.133
Presley, LF 14 2 3 1 1 2 5 0.214 0.267
McCutchen, A, CF 12 2 4 1 0 3 4 0.333 0.308
Alvarez, 3B 12 0 1 1 0 4 9 0.083 0.083
Tabata, RF 11 2 5 0 1 3 4 0.455 0.500
Barmes, SS 11 1 3 0 0 1 6 0.273 0.273
McGehee, 1B 10 2 5 2 3 1 1 0.500 0.615
Barajas, C 8 1 1 3 0 2 3 0.125 0.125
Jones, G, DH 7 2 3 0 0 2 2 0.429 0.429
Hague, DH 5 0 1 1 1 2 2 0.200 0.333
McKenry, C 3 0 0 0 0 1 2 0.000 0.250
Harrison, SS 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 —- 1.000
  Totals 108 13 28 13 7 26 45 0.259 0.308

Batting
Doubles (5): Walker (11), Presley (6), McGehee (7), Jones (9), Tabata (11)
Home Runs (3): McGehee (2), Walker (4), Barajas (6)

BaseRunning
SB: McCutchen 2 (13), Tabata (7)

Fielding
Errors: Barmes (8), Resop (3), Presley (3)
Double Plays: (McGehee-Barmes-Lincoln), (Barmes-Walker-McGehee), (McGehee-Barmes-Correia)

Pitching

Pittsburgh     IP    H    R   ER  BB  SO  HR    ERA   WHIP
Correia(L, 2-6) 6.0 10 5 4 1 1 1 6.00 1.83
Lincoln(L, 3-2) 4.3 9 4 4 1 3 2 8.31 2.31
Resop 4.0 7 5 4 0 2 1 9.00 1.75
Bedard(L, 4-7) 3.3 8 7 7 2 1 0 18.90 3.00
Slaten 2.7 6 3 3 1 0 1 10.13 2.63
Hanrahan 1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 1.00
Hughes, J 1.0 1 1 1 1 1 1 9.00 2.00
Watson 1.0 2 2 2 0 2 1 18.00 2.00
Cruz, J 0.7 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.00 1.50
  Totals 24.0 44 27 25 7 13 7 9.38 2.13

Transactions: none

Tommy John Expected for Charlie Morton

News started breaking this morning that Charlie Morton, on the DL with elbow discomfort, has a torn ligament and will likely need Tommy John surgery. If that is the case then he won’t be back until the middle of next season, with no guarantee of being effective right away.

This is a big blow for Morton and a big blow for the Pirates’ pitching depth. For now, the ream is saying that Brad Lincoln will remain in the rotation until Jeff Karstens is healthy. I suspect that Rudy Owens or Jeff Locke will be starting in the big leagues by early July.

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