Giants Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 6-5 Loss vs San Francisco. Bedard struggles again. Box score.
Saturday: 3-1 Win vs San Francisco. JMac dominates. Box score.
Sunday: 13-2 Win vs San Francisco. Pirates batter Lincecum. Box score.

Season Record: 48-37, 1st place in NL Central, 1.0 game ahead

Notes: The Pirates enter the All Star break in first place for the first time since 1997. The Bucs are 11 games over .500 and sport the fourth best record in the majors. What a series for Neil Walker: 8 for 12 with 4 doubles and a homer. Andrew McCutchen was nearly as good with 2 homers among his 7 hits in 14 at bats. Cutch was named to participate in the Home Run Derby as a late replacement for Giancarlo Stanton. James McDonald continued his All Star-worthy campaign with 10 K’s in 7 innings. The bullpen was stellar once again, allowing only one run (by Juan Cruz) in 10 innings.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
McCutchen, A, CF 14 5 7 6 0 2 4 0.500 0.500
Sutton, LF-RF 13 0 2 1 0 3 5 0.154 0.143
Walker, 2B 12 4 8 4 1 1 3 0.667 0.692
McGehee, 1B 12 2 4 3 0 2 5 0.333 0.333
Alvarez, 3B 11 2 2 2 1 3 6 0.182 0.250
Jones, G, RF-1B 10 1 1 0 0 3 6 0.100 0.100
Barmes, SS 7 1 2 1 0 1 4 0.286 0.286
Barajas, C 6 1 1 0 2 0 3 0.167 0.444
Hernandez, Go, PR-LF 6 1 0 0 0 2 1 0.000 0.000
Mercer, PH-SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000
McKenry, C 3 1 2 1 0 0 1 0.667 0.667
Burnett, AJ, P 3 0 1 1 0 1 3 0.333 0.333
Harrison, SS 2 2 2 0 1 0 0 1.000 1.000
McDonald, J, P 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1.000 1.000
Lincoln, P 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1.000 1.000
Bedard, P 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
Fryer, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
  Totals 107 21 34 19 6 18 43 0.318 0.357

Batting
Doubles (9): Walker 4 (21), McKenry (7), Alvarez (15), Sutton (10), Barajas (8), McGehee (12)
Triples (1): McCutchen (5)
Home Runs (6): McGehee (6), Alvarez (16), McKenry (7), McCutchen 2 (18), Walker (6)

Baserunning
SB: Hernandez (2)

Fielding
Errors: Walker (4), Harrison (3), McKenry (1), Sutton (1)
Double Plays: (Bedard-Harrison-McGehee), (Mercer-Walker-McGehee), (Barmes-Walker- McGehee)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
McDonald, J(W, 9-3) 7.0 4 1 1 0 10 0 1.29 0.57
Burnett, AJ(W, 10-2) 6.3 4 2 2 2 5 1 2.84 0.95
Bedard(L, 4-10) 3.7 4 5 4 3 1 1 9.82 1.91
Lincoln 2.7 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.00
Resop 2.3 0 0 0 0 3 0 0.00 0.00
Hughes, J 2.0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 1.00
Grilli(H, 21) 1.0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0.00 0.00
Hanrahan(S, 23) 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 1.00
Cruz, J 1.0 2 1 1 0 0 0 9.00 2.00
  Totals 27.0 17 9 8 5 24 2 2.67 0.81

Transactions: Outrighted Chris Leroux and Doug Slaten to AAA. Optioned C Eric Fryer to AAA. Recalled 1B Matt Hague from AAA.

Slaten, Leroux Clear Waivers

Also this, from the “I was busy last night and missed it” file: Doug Slaten and Chris Leroux both cleared waivers and were outrighted to AAA. Either would have to be readded to the 40 man roster to be called back to the active major league roster.

Hague Recalled, Fryer Optioned

It’s a sign that Rod Barajas is finally healthy enough to catch normally: Eric Fryer has been optioned back down to AAA. Fryer went mostly unused in his 11 days on the roster, acting as an emergency catcher in case Michael McKenry was hurt. In four games he was 1 for 3 with a single.

Matt Hague was been called up. I don’t expect he’ll see many starts with Casey McGehee and Garrett Jones swinging well but he should serve as a good bat off the bench. As a pinch hitter this year he’s 4 for 12 with 1 strikeout, 2 runs scored and 2 RBIs.

Series Preview: The Giants

Current record: 46-36, 1st place in NL Central, 2.0 games ahead

Up Next: San Francisco Giants, 45-38, 2nd place in NL West, 1.5 games back

Season Series: 1-2

Notes: The last time the Pirates faced the Giants they scored eight runs in three games. Two months later the Bucs are playing like a totally different team. These three games will close out the season series with the Giants. The Pirates are lucky to miss All Star Matt Cain, who could start the game on Tuesday. If so, he’ll be joining teammates Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval and Melky Cabrera.

Familiar Faces: Ryan Vogelsong, Javier Lopez

Probable Pitchers
Friday: LH Barry Zito (6-6, 93.2 IP, 52 K, 3.84 ERA, 1.40 WHIP)
vs. LH Erik Bedard (4-9, 82.2 IP, 77 K, 4.57 ERA, 1.48 WHIP)

A battle of struggling lefties.

Saturday: RH Ryan Vogelsong (7-3, 103.2 IP, 72 K, 2.26 ERA, 1.11 WHIP)
vs. RH James McDonald (8-3, 103.0 IP, 90 K, 2.45 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)

Against all odds, Vogelsong has become a good, consistent pitcher late in his career. He’s held opponents to 2 ER runs or less in 11 of his 15 starts and never more than 4 ER allowed.

Sunday: TBA (3-9, 93.2 IP, 101 K, 6.08 ERA, 1.55 WHIP)
vs. RH A.J. Burnett (9-2, 86.2 IP, 74 K, 3.74 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)

This is Tim Lincecum‘s turn to pitch, but as of last night he hasn’t been announced as the starter. Last time out he allowed 7 ER in only 3.1 IP, so the Giants may be considering resting him. I listed his numbers above.

No lineups yet.

Astros Wrap Up

Scores:
Monday: 11-2 Win vs Houston. McDonald battles, gets lots of support. Box score.
Tuesday: 8-7 Win vs Houston. Sutton walk off HR. Box score.
Wednesday: 6-4 Win vs Houston. Pirates win #45 in game 81. Box score.
Thursday: 2-0 Win vs Houston. Karstens: 8 very strong innings. Box score.

Season Record: 46-36, 1st place in NL Central, 2.0 games ahead

Notes: A four game sweep puts the Pirates all alone in first place. Five players had at least 5 hits in the series. Pedro Alvarez returned from a lingering leg cramp, but the team lost Alex Presley to a concussion. Joel Hanrahan pitched in the last three games so he will not be available on Friday. He’s been shaky enough lately that I wouldn’t mind seeing him get a few days off. Not counting The Hammer, the rest of the bullpen pitched seven scoreless innings.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Sutton, RF, LF 18 3 7 1 0 6 4 0.389 0.389
Jones, G, RF, 1B 16 8 9 7 0 2 7 0.563 0.563
McCutchen, A, CF 15 6 8 3 2 1 5 0.533 0.588
Walker, 2B 15 4 5 3 3 4 4 0.333 0.444
McGehee, 3B, 1B 14 3 6 4 1 3 5 0.429 0.467
Barmes, SS 13 0 2 2 0 2 10 0.154 0.154
McKenry, C 9 0 2 2 0 5 4 0.222 0.273
Presley, LF 7 1 2 0 0 2 1 0.286 0.286
Alvarez, 3B, PH 6 1 2 4 2 2 4 0.333 0.500
Barajas, C 4 0 1 0 0 1 2 0.250 0.250
Harrison, PH-SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.000 0.000
Hernandez, Go, LF 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
Karstens, P 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0.333 0.333
Fryer, PH 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.500 0.500
Burnett, AJ, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Correia, P 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000
McDonald, J, P, PR 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
  Totals 136 27 46 26 8 31 52 0.338 0.375

Batting
Doubles (12): McGehee 3 (11), McCutchen (17), Jones 3 (13), Walker 2 (17), McKenry (6), Sutton 2 (9)
Triple (2): Presley (3), Sutton (1)
Home Runs (5): Jones 2 (12), Walker (5), McCutchen (16), Sutton (1)

Baserunning
CS: Walker (2), Sutton (1)
PO: Sutton

Fielding
Errors: McDonald (1)
Double Plays: (Barmes-Walker-Jones) (3), (Walker-Barmes-McGehee) (2), (Barmes-Walker-McGehee)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Karstens(W, 2-2) 8.0 4 0 0 1 8 0 0.00 0.63
McDonald, J(W, 8-3) 7.0 4 2 2 5 4 1 2.57 1.29
Correia(W, 5-6) 6.0 6 3 3 2 1 0 4.50 1.33
Burnett, AJ 5.0 12 6 6 2 5 0 10.80 2.80
Hanrahan(BS, 3)(W, 4-0)(S, 21, 22) 3.0 2 2 2 3 0 1 6.00 1.67
Grilli(H, 19, 20) 2.0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0.00 0.00
Hughes, J 2.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.50
Cruz, J 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.00
Lincoln(H, 2) 1.0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 2.00
Resop 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
  Totals 36.0 31 13 13 13 25 2 3.25 1.22


Transactions
: Optioned OF Jose Tabata to AAA. Recalled OF Gorkys Hernandez from AAA. Placed LF Alex
Presley on the 7-day concussion DL. Recalled SS Jordy Mercer from AAA
.

Presley to DL, Mercer Called Up

The Pirates placed LF Alex Presley on the 7-day DL with a concussion. Presley sustained the injury diving to make a catch in the fifth first inning of Tuesday’s win over the Astros. The move is retroactive to July 4, so let’s hope for a full recovery by the time he eligible to return on the 11th.

Taking Presley’s roster spot is SS Jordy Mercer. Pedro Alvarez was limited to pinch hitting duty before last night and Garrett Jones has been playing more outfield lately so the Pirates had need for another infielder at the moment. With any luck, Mercer won’t go weeks without a plate appearance this time up.

Tabata Down, Gorkys Up

In a move that had been rumored for a few days, Jose Tabata was sent down to AAA. Gorkys Hernandez has been called back up to the majors. I’ll have more on this later.

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