Series Preview: The Diamondbacks

Current record: 61-46, 2nd place in NL Central, 4.5 games back

Up Next: Arizona Diamondbacks, 55-53, 3rd place in NL West, 4.0 games back

Season Series: 2-1

Notes: The D-backs are hanging in the NL West race and have the best run differential (+32) in their division. Their moves at the deadline were trading 3B Ryan Roberts to Tampa Bay, acquiring 3B Chris Johnson from Houston and trading RP Craig Breslow to Boston for RP Matt Albers. They also recently got SS Stephen Drew back from injury. LF Jason Kubel and 1B Paul Goldschmidt have led the offense with OPS’s of .913 and .902.

Familiar Faces: None

Probable Pitchers
Monday: LH Wade Miley (12-6, 126.2 IP, 95 K, 2.98 ERA, 1.08 WHIP)
vs. LH Erik Bedard (5-12, 104.1 IP, 100 K, 4.83 ERA, 1.48 WHIP)

Miley was an All Star this year and has the numbers to back it up. Bedard starts for the second Monday in a row after having his turn pushed back again.

Tuesday: LH Patrick Corbin (3-4, 45.0 IP, 35 K, 3.60 ERA, 1.27 WHIP)
vs. RH Jeff Karstens (4-2, 56.0 IP, 42 K, 3.70 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)

Karstens pitched very well in his last start, but wasn’t very efficient and only went 5 innings. He’ll look to stretch that out farther this time.

Wednesday: RH Ian Kennedy (10-8, 141.0 IP, 123 K, 4.15 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)
vs. RH Kevin Correia (8-6, 110.1 IP, 52 K, 4.49 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)

Well, look who’s back. Correia gets a spot start after being bumped from the rotation for Wandy Rodriguez. Kennedy was a Cy Young candidate last year but has returned to his expected level of production this season.

Thursday: LH Joe Saunders (5-8, 113.1 IP, 79 K, 3.57 ERA, 1.32 WHIP)
vs. LH Wandy Rodriguez (7-10, 143.2 IP, 98 K, 3.82 ERA, 1.28 WHIP)

Wandy was okay Friday vs Cincinnati, but Pirate fans are looking for him to step it up and dominate in his third start for the club.

No lineups yet.

Series Preview: The Cubs

Current record: 58-43, 2nd place in NL Central, 3.0 games back

Up Next: Chicago Cubs, 42-58, 5th place in NL Central, 14.5 games back

Season Series: 4-2 (3-0, 1-2)

Notes: After taking 3 of 4 from the last place team in the Central, the Bucs climb one rung up the ladder to face the Cubs. Chicago is known to be looking to make trades, so the make up of their team could chage in a big way before Tuesday night’s game. Rookie 1B Anthony Rizzo has an .884 OPS since his call up.

Familiar Faces: Paul Maholm

Probable Pitchers
Monday: LH Erik Bedard (5-11, 100.0 IP, 93 K, 4.32 ERA, 1.45 WHIP)
vs. RH Justin Germano (0-1, 8.2 IP, 8 K, 1.04 ERA, 1.38 WHIP)

Germano will be making his first start of the season. Bedard had his turn pushed back two days so that Wandy Rodriguez could take his normal turn on Saturday.

Tuesday: RH A.J. Burnett (12-3, 115.0 IP, 94 K, 3.52 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)
vs. RH Ryan Dempster (5-5, 104.0 IP, 83 K, 2.25 ERA, 1.04 WHIP)

Tuesday is the trade deadline, so it’s possible that Dempster could be gone before he pitches against the Pirates. The word is that he’ll only accept a trade to the Dodgers.

Wednesday: RH Jeff Karstens (3-2, 51.0 IP, 38 K, 3.88 ERA, 1.24 WHIP)
vs. LH Travis Wood (4-6, 77.2 IP, 54 K, 4.98 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)

No lineups yet.

Series Preview: The Astros

Current record: 42-36, 2nd place in NL Central, 1.0 game back

Up Next: Houston Astros, 32-47, 6th place in NL Central, 11.5 games back

Season Series: 2-1

Notes: The last time the Pirates faced the Astros both teams were 14-17 and tied
for 3rd place. Now the two teams are separated by 10.5 games in the standings.
Firstbaseman Carlos Lee just turned down a trade to the Dodgers. 2B Jose Altuve
was chosen as Houston’s lone representative for the All Star Game.

Familiar Faces: Chris Snyder, Brian Bixler

Probable Pitchers
Monday: RH Jordan Lyles (2-4, 51.0 IP, 30 K, 4.59 ERA, 1.45 WHIP)
vs. RH James McDonald (7-3, 96.0 IP, 86 K, 2.44 ERA, 0.98 WHIP)

Tuesday: RH Lucas Harrell (7-6, 97.2 IP, 56 K, 4.33 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)
vs. RH A.J. Burnett (9-2, 81.2 IP, 69 K, 3.31 ERA, 1.24 WHIP)

Wednesday: LH Dallas Keuchel (1-0, 20.0 IP, 8 K, 1.35 ERA, 1.15 WHIP)
vs. RH Kevin Correia (4-6, 85.1 IP, 34 K, 4.32 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)

Thursday: RH Bud Norris (5-5, 79.0 IP, 82 K, 4.90 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
vs. RH Jeff Karstens (1-2, 24.0 IP, 16 K, 5.25 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)

No lineups yet.

Cardinals Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 14-5 Win at St. Louis. Lots of late runs. Box score.
Saturday: 7-3 Win at St. Louis. Pedro smash. Box score.
Sunday: 5-4 Loss at St. Louis. Not enough to bail out Bedard. Box score.

Season Record: 42-36, 2nd place in NL Central, 1.0 game back

Notes: Two outstandings games and one disappointing one. Good to see the Jeff Karstens from last year show up. Erik Bedard has not been very good for a month. Jose Tabata scored four runs and was on base six times, which was good to see. Big weekend for Pedro Alvarez with eight RBI, including a grand slam. Andrew McCutchen injured his wrist on Saturday making a diving catch and got Sunday off. He’s expected to be fine.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Tabata, RF 13 4 4 0 2 1 3 0.308 0.400
Walker, 2B 12 3 6 3 2 2 6 0.500 0.571
Presley, LF-CF 12 3 5 1 1 2 1 0.417 0.462
Alvarez, 3B 11 1 4 8 3 1 5 0.364 0.500
Barmes, SS 11 2 4 3 0 1 7 0.364 0.364
Jones, G, 1B 11 4 3 2 1 5 6 0.273 0.333
McCutchen, A, CF 9 5 6 3 1 0 2 0.667 0.700
Sutton, LF-2B 9 1 2 1 0 4 4 0.222 0.222
McKenry, C 8 1 2 3 0 4 9 0.250 0.250
McGehee, PH-1B 5 0 1 1 0 0 2 0.200 0.200
Barajas, C 5 0 0 0 0 2 4 0.000 0.000
Harrison, 2B-3B 3 0 0 0 0 0 5 0.000 0.000
Karstens, P 3 0 0 0 0 2 1 0.000 0.000
Correia, P 2 0 1 0 0 1 1 0.500 0.500
Lincoln, P, PH 2 1 1 0 0 1 1 0.500 0.500
Bedard, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Fryer, PR-LF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 —- —-
  Totals 118 25 39 25 10 27 57 0.331 0.383

Batting
Doubles (6): McCutchen (16), Alvarez (14), McKenry (5), Tabata (13), Walker (15), Sutton (7)
Triple (1): Presley (2)
Home Runs (6): Barmes (4), Presley (6), Jones (10), McCutchen (15), Alvarez (15), McKenry (6)

BaseRunning
SB: Presley (8)
CS: Tabata (9)

Fielding
Double Plays: (Harrison-Sutton-Jones)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Karstens(W, 1-2) 7.0 4 2 2 2 7 0 2.57 0.86
Correia(W, 4-6) 5.0 6 5 5 2 3 1 9.00 1.60
Bedard(L, 4-9) 4.7 8 5 5 2 5 2 9.64 2.14
Lincoln 3.0 1 0 0 0 4 0 0.00 0.33
Resop 2.3 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.00
Watson 1.7 3 1 1 0 1 0 5.40 1.80
Hughes, J(S, 1) 1.3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Cruz, J 1.0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0.00 1.00
  Totals 26.0 22 13 13 7 24 3 4.50 1.12

Transactions: None

Series Preview: The Cardinals

Current record: 40-35, 2nd place in NL Central, 1.0 game back

Up Next: St. Louis Cardinals, 40-36, 3rd place in NL Central, 1.5 games back

Season Series: 2-4

Notes: Even with Lance Berkman on the DL, the Cardinals have plenty of big bats. Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig all sport an OPS+ of 141 or better. St. Louis’ +69 run differential is the best in the league and second best in the majors. The Bucs are ninth at -6. Lance Lynn has been outstanding this season, but allowed 11 ER in his last two starts.

Familiar Faces: None

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH Kevin Correia (3-6, 80.1 IP, 31 K, 4.03 ERA, 1.28 WHIP)
vs. RH Adam Wainwright (6-7, 91.2 IP, 84 K, 4.32 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)

Saturday: RH Jeff Karstens (0-2, 17.0 IP, 9 K, 6.35 ERA, 1.65 WHIP)
vs. RH Lance Lynn (10-3, 92.0 IP, 92 K, 3.23 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)

Sunday: LH Erik Bedard (4-8, 78.0 IP, 72 K, 4.27 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
vs. RH Jake Westbrook (6-6, 93.0 IP, 59 K, 3.77 ERA, 1.32 WHIP)

No lineups yet.

Phillies Wrap Up

Scores:
Monday: 8-3 Loss at Philadelphia. Nothing worked. Box score.
Tuesday: 5-4 Loss at Philadelphia. There were chances to win this one. Box score.
Wednesday: 11-7 Win at Philadelphia. The bats save a win. Box score.
Thursday: 5-4 Win at Philadelphia. Score 5 early, hang on late. Box score.

Season Record: 40-35, 2nd place in NL Central, 1.0 game back

Notes: Rough, rough series. The Pirates didn’t play very well at all and still came away with a split on the road. Michael McKenry stepped up in a huge way. The Fort caught all 33 innings after Rod Barajas was injured in the first game while going 8 for 14 with a double and two homers. Drew Sutton made a good first impression by going 4 for 8. Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez continued to rake, with Neil Walker joining in too. In fact, the only player who had a bad offensive series was Clint Barmes, to noone’s surprise. Apart from Brad Lincoln and Joel Hanrahan the pitching was pretty bad. As my grandfather used to say, they gave up a lot of “crooked numbers.”

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
McCutchen, A, CF 18 3 5 3 0 5 9 0.278 0.278
Alvarez, 3B 16 2 4 1 1 8 9 0.250 0.294
Walker, 2B 15 5 5 1 3 3 11 0.333 0.444
McKenry, C 14 2 8 6 2 3 2 0.571 0.625
Tabata, RF 13 3 3 2 0 4 4 0.231 0.231
Barmes, SS 13 1 1 1 1 4 10 0.077 0.143
McGehee, 1B 12 2 3 5 2 0 8 0.250 0.357
Sutton, LF, PH 8 3 4 2 2 1 1 0.500 0.600
Jones, G, RF,1B 5 1 2 1 2 1 4 0.400 0.571
Harrison, PH-RF, SS 5 0 1 0 0 0 3 0.200 0.200
Presley, PH-LF 5 1 0 0 3 1 0 0.000 0.375
McDonald, J, P 3 0 1 1 0 1 2 0.333 0.333
Burnett, AJ, P 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
Karstens, P 2 0 0 0 0 2 2 0.000 0.000
Hague, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000
Bedard, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Barajas, C 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 —- —-
  Totals 134 23 37 23 16 35 67 0.276 0.353

Batting
Doubles (8): Walker 2 (14), Alvarez (13), McKenry (4), McCutchen 2 (15), Sutton (6), Jones (10)
Home Runs (7): Tabata (3), McKenry 2 (5), McGehee 2 (5), McCutchen (14), Alvarez (14)

BaseRunning
CS: McGehee (1), Harrison (3)
PO: Harrison

Fielding
Errors: Alvarez 2 (13), Tabata 2 (3), Barmes (9), Jones (2)
Double Plays: (Barmes-Walker-McGehee)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Burnett, AJ(W, 9-2) 5.7 6 3 3 2 7 1 4.76 1.41
Bedard(L, 4-8) 6.0 8 4 4 2 3 1 6.00 1.67
McDonald, J(W, 7-3) 5.7 6 4 4 2 3 2 6.35 1.41
Karstens(L, 0-2) 5.0 11 7 6 0 4 1 10.80 2.20
Hanrahan(S, 20) 2.0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0.00 1.00
Grilli(H, 18) 2.0 2 1 1 0 3 1 4.50 1.00
Slaten 2.0 1 1 1 3 3 0 4.50 2.00
Hughes, J 1.3 1 2 1 1 1 0 6.75 1.50
Cruz, J(H, 13) 1.3 2 1 1 2 1 1 6.75 3.00
Lincoln(H, 1) 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.00
Watson 1.0 3 1 1 0 1 0 9.00 3.00
  Totals 33.0 41 24 22 13 29 7 6.00 1.64

Transactions: Activated RHP Jeff Karstens from the 15-day DL. Optioned RHP Bryan Morris to AAA. Activated IF Drew Sutton. Called up C Eric Fryer from AAA. Optioned 1B Matt Hague to AAA. Designated LHP Daniel Moskos for assignment. Traded RHP Shairon Martis to Minnesota. Claimed 2B Oscar Tejeda of waivers from Boston and optioned him to AA. Designated LHP Doug Slaten for assignment.

More Moves

Bryan Morris‘s stay in the majors was a short one. As expected, he’s been optioned back to AAA to make room for Jeff Karstens on the roster.

Drew Sutton has been given permission to visit his pregnant wife before reporting. He’ll join the team tomorrow and another roster move will be made at that time.

Update 6:18 PM: Jake Fox has been released from Indianapolis to make room for Mercer.

Added links.

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