Pirates (75-52) at Giants (56-71)
10:15 PM–AT&T Park, San Francisco
The Bucs look to take the first two in their second straight series out west as they take on the Giants in another late game tonight. Once again, they’ll need to win or risk losing their lead in the division, depending on what St. Louis does. Cincinnati is playing very well now too, and lurks just 2.5 back.
Pedro Alvarez is not in the lineup tonight, against a lefty pitcher. Jordy Mercer is at third. Starling Marte is still out with his bothersome hand injury, even though he was reportedly available last night.
Pirates postgame host Dan Zangrilli is reporting that Andrew Lambo is on his way to San Fran. Since Lambo hasn’t been down for ten days, if he joins the team (which he may not do…it could be another taxi squad move) he would have to replace someone going to the DL. Marte? Locke? Pie? Let the speculation begin…
Charlie Morton (4-3, 3.67) vs. Madison Bumgarner (11-7, 2.82)
Charlie has looked very strong lately and is coming off three solid starts in a row, even though only one was a win. Jeff Locke is struggling, but it’s amazing how much an improved Morton can boost the rotation. When it seemed like things were falling apart somewhat a few weeks ago, now Liriano and Burnett are still strong at the top, Morton looks good in the middle of the rotation, and Gerrit Cole sure isn’t a bad guy to have back there as well. The starting pitching should be fine.
Bumgarner is a fine lefty and is the only Giant starter that has produced well this season. His last two starts were not very good, though – neither one lasted more than five innings. Still, his ERA is no joke and the Bucco bats will be tested after a strong night yesterday against the Giants’ other top starter and the bullpen.