Sunday Notes

Late Friday night the Pirates acquired Jeff Larish from the Red Sox for cash considerations. Larish is a non-prospect at this point and will go to AAA, where the organization already has several 1B/DH types. Speculation around the internet seems to be that this move only makes since if one of Jake Fox or Matt Hague is going to be called up.

Erik Bedard has been scratched from Monday’s start. He had back spasms after one inning in his last start on Wednesday. Brad Lincoln will start Monday’s game and Bedard is no scheduled to go on Wednesday.

Heck of a game last night. The Pirates beat up on J.A. Happ like they should have and Charlie Morton was very effective after tweaking his sinker since his last start. The rubber game is today at 1:35pm, barring any rain delays.

Lineups:
Jose Tabata LF
Neil Walker 2B
Andrew McCutchen CF
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Casey McGehee 1B
Yamaico Navarro RF
Rod Barajas C
Josh Harrison SS
A.J. Burnett P

Astros:
Jordan Schafer CF
Jed Lowrie SS
J.D. Martinez LF
Carlos Lee 1B
Brian Bogusevic RF
Chris Johnson 3B
Jason Castro C
Marwin Gonzalez 2B
Wandy Rodriguez P

Late update:

Pirates

RHP Joel Hanrahan reinstated from Bereavement List…RHP Daniel McCutchen on D.L. with left oblique strain; suffered in BP Saturday.

Where’s the Scoring?

Strong pitching and missed opportunities were the story of last night’s game. The Pirates had a runner on third and no outs in the fourth AND bases loaded with no outs in the sixth and failed to score each time. There’s no excuse for not scoring in both situations. Even worse, they completely wasted a top notch start from James McDonald.

No one’s out of the prediction contest yet though. The Pirates highest scoring games this year have been 9, 7 and 6 runs, plus 5 runs five times. Predictions came in between 2 and 16 runs, although last night’s shutout lowers the “sweet spot,” which should have been in the 9-11 range, down to 5-8.

Back at it tonight. The lineup:
Jose Tabata LF
Neil Walker 2B
Andrew McCutchen CF
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Casey McGehee 1B
Yamaico Navarro RF
Clint Barmes SS
Michael McKenry C
Charlie Morton P

Series Preview: The Astros

Current record: 14-17, 3rd place (tie) in NL Central, 6.0 games back

Up Next: Houston Astros, 14-17, 3rd place (tie) in NL Central, 6.0 games back

The battle for 3rd place begins tonight! What, not exciting enough? Then tune in to see 22-yr old Jose Altuve, who’s really fast and has been the surprise best player on Houston. Old pals Brian Bixler and Chris Snyder plus one time almost-a-Pirate Brandon Lyon are in town too. This is the first of three times Houston comes to town before they switch to the American League next season.

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH Bud Norris (2-1, 37.1 IP, 33 K, 4.58 ERA, 1.39 WHIP)
vs. RH James McDonald (2-1, 36.2 IP, 31 K, 2.70 ERA, 1.09 WHIP)

Norris has the tools but has yet to acheive consistancy, something that was always said about McDonald before this season.

Saturday: LH J.A. Happ (2-2, 34.1 IP, 34 K, 5.24 ERA, 1.57 WHIP)
vs. RH Charlie Morton (1-3, 27.1 IP, 20 K, 4.61 ERA, 1.46 WHIP)

Morton is tinkering with his sinker, trying to get it to drop like it did last year when he was a ground ball machine. Despite how it’s written, Happ pronounces his name “Jay.”

Sunday: LH Wandy Rodriguez (3-3, 46.1 IP, 29 K, 2.14 ERA, 1.08 WHIP)
vs. RH A.J. Burnett (1-2, 23.2 IP, 27 K, 6.08 ERA, 1.44 WHIP)

A matchup of each team’s ace, which usually means lots of runs will be scored.

Pirates Lineup: McLouth in for Alex Presley again. Looks to me like Clint Hurdle is playing the “hot” hand, since Presley has been slumping and Hurdle says he’s seen Nate make strides in his approach lately. Expect to see Casey McGehee play vs lefties the next two games.

Jose Tabata RF
Nate McLouth LF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Neil Walker 2B
Garrett Jones 1B
Rod Barajas C
Clint Barmes SS
James McDonald P

Don’t forget to enter the ticket giveaway contest before the end of the first inning tonight!

Series Preview: The Nationals

Current record: 12-16, 4th place in NL Central, 5.5 games back

Up Next: Washington Nationals, 18-10, 1st place in NL East, 1.0 game lead

The Nats are playing great baseball right now. They have five solid starting pitchers and are allowing the fewest runs per game in the majors (2.9). Old friends Adam LaRoche, Xavier Nady, Tom Gorzelanny and Sean Burnett are on the team. LaRoche has avoided his usual April slump and been the best hitter on the Nats this year. RF Jayson Werth just went down with a broken wrist on Sunday. Phenom Bryce Harper will start in right while he’s out.

Probable Pitchers
Tuesday: RH Edwin Jackson (1-1, 32.2 IP, 29 K, 3.69 ERA, 1.11 WHIP)
vs. RH A.J. Burnett (1-2, 15.2 IP, 17 K, 8.04 ERA, 1.72 WHIP)

Wednesday: LH Ross Detwiler (3-1, 28.1 IP, 21 K, 1.59 ERA, 0.99 WHIP)
vs. LH Erik Bedard (2-4, 34.0 IP, 37 K, 2.65 ERA, 1.41 WHIP)

Thursday: RH Stephen Strasburg (2-0, 38.0 IP, 38 K, 1.66 ERA, 0.84 WHIP)
vs. RH Kevin Correia (1-2, 29.1 IP, 12 K, 3.38 ERA, 1.13 WHIP)

No lineup available yet.

Update 2:35pm: The lineup is posted. Cutch is back, Alex Presley sits.

Jose Tabata LF
Neil Walker 2B
Andrew McCutchen CF
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Casey McGehee 1B
Garrett Jones RF
Clint Barmes SS
Rod Barajas C
A.J. Burnett P

Reds Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 6-1 Loss vs Cincinnati. No bats. Box score.
Saturday: 3-2 Win vs Cincinnati. James McDonald is on. Box score.
Sunday: 5-0 Loss vs Cincinnati. No bats again. Box score.

Season Record: 12-16, 4th place (tie) in NL Central, 5 games back

Notes: Well, I was wrong about this one. I thought the Reds’ pitching was weak enough for the Pirates to score some runs. Four runs in three games is horrible. Andrew McCutchen missed two more games with the flu. Nate McLouth did okay in his place. Pedro Alvarez‘s hot hitting has resulted in being moved up to the cleanup spot.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Walker, 2B 11 1 4 2 1 1 5 0.364 0.417
Tabata, RF 10 1 2 0 1 2 1 0.200 0.333
Barmes, SS 10 0 1 0 0 5 7 0.100 0.100
Presley, LF 9 1 1 1 0 3 3 0.111 0.111
McLouth, CF 8 1 3 0 1 2 3 0.375 0.444
Alvarez, 3B 7 0 1 1 4 2 2 0.143 0.417
McGehee, 1B 7 0 1 0 1 3 7 0.143 0.250
Jones, G, RF, 1B 6 0 1 0 0 1 5 0.167 0.167
Barajas, C 6 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000
McKenry, C 4 0 0 0 0 3 1 0.000 0.000
McCutchen, A, CF 3 0 1 0 1 1 1 0.333 0.500
Navarro, PH-LF, SS 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
Correia, P 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.500 0.500
Morton, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
McDonald, J, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Harrison, PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
91 4 16 4 9 27 39 0.176 0.250

Batting
Doubles (3): Barmes (7), Jones (5), Tabata (5)
HomeRuns (2): Walker (1), Presley (2)

BaseRunning
CS: Tabata (4)
PO: Tabata, McCutchen

Fielding
Errors: Morton (3), Alvarez (6)
Double Plays: McGehee-Barajas, Barmes-Walker-McGehee, Barmes-McGehee, McCutchen-Walker, Alvarez-Walker-McGehee (2)

Pitching

Pittsburgh     IP    H    R  ER  BB  SO  HR   ERA   WHIP
Correia(L, 1-2) 7.0 9 5 5 1 3 2 6.43 1.43
McDonald, J(W, 2-1) 6.3 6 1 1 2 7 0 1.42 1.26
Morton(L, 1-3) 6.0 7 5 4 2 5 2 6.00 1.50
Hughes, J 2.0 1 0 0 2 0 0 0.00 1.50
Resop 2.0 3 1 1 3 1 1 4.50 3.00
Hanrahan(S, 5) 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Lincoln 1.0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 2.00
Grilli(H, 6) 1.0 2 1 1 1 2 0 9.00 3.00
Cruz, J(H, 4) 0.7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
27.0 30 13 12 11 19 5 4.00 1.52

Transactions: None

Weekend Preview: The Reds

Current record: 11-14, 3rd place in NL Central, 5 games back

Up Next: Cincinnati Reds, 12-12, 2nd place in NL Central, 3.5 games back

The Reds pitching has been pretty bad so far and the offense has been all Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. If the Pirates can keep those two in check and keep hitting like they have the last few games then they should win the series. A sweep would have the Bucs in second place on Monday.

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH Johnny Cueto (3-0, 32.1 IP, 22 K, 1.39 ERA, 1.05 WHIP)
vs. RH Kevin Correia (1-1, 22.1 IP, 9 K, 2.42 ERA, 1.03 WHIP)

Saturday: RH Mike Leake (0-3, 21.2 IP, 9 K, 6.65 ERA, 1.57 WHIP)
vs. LH James McDonald (1-1, 30.1 IP, 24 K, 2.97 ERA, 1.06 WHIP)

Sunday: RH Mat Latos (1-2, 28.2 IP, 18 K, 5.97 ERA, 1.57 WHIP)
vs. RH Charlie Morton (1-2, 21.1 IP, 15 K, 4.22 ERA, 1.45 WHIP)

No lineup available yet.

Update 4pmLineups just posted, thanks to Kristy Robinson of Pirates Prospects. Pedro moves up to the 5th spot. Looks like Andrew McCutchen is still feeling sick.

Jose Tabata RF
Alex Presley LF
Nate McLouth CF
Neil Walker 2B
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Garrett Jones 1B
Clint Barmes SS
Rod Barajas C
Kevin Correia P

vs.

Zack Cozart SS
Drew Stubbs CF
Joey Votto 1B
Brandon Phillips 2B
Jay Bruce RF
Scott Rolen 3B
Chris Heisey LF
Ryan Hanigan C
Johnny Cueto P

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