Pirates (74-52) at Giants (56-70)
10:15 PM–AT&T Park, San Francisco
After taking two of three in San Diego, the Bucs complete their west coast swing with four games in San Francisco. They took 2 of 3 from the Giants in June, and another series win looks quite attainable since the defending champions are in last place. Things have gone south in a hurry for the Giants and they’re no big threat, but even after a series win in SD, the Pirates have learned that west coast trips can be dangerous, regardless of opponent.
A few notes…I neglected to mention yesterday that Felix Pie has been called up. Pie is a pretty washed up outfield prospect and hasn’t done much at Indy, but with Starling Marte apparently out a few days, they needed an outfielder (Alex Presley and Andrew Lambo can’t be recalled yet, since they ). I doubt he’ll be around long, though he may return once the roster expands to 40 in September.
Also, something to keep an eye on…win number 82 is approaching, and it would be pretty cool to see it at PNC Park. For that to happen, though, the Bucs need to win at least 8 of their next 10…if they don’t, it will likely happen during a nine game road trip following the next homestand.
Jeff Locke (9-4, 2.90) vs. Matt Cain (8-8, 4.35)
Locke is coming off his worst outing – that nightmarish start against Arizona in which he allowed eight runs. He hasn’t been good in the second half, but in the outing before that he had looked much better, so there’s certainly still reason to hope he’ll get it back together. The Giants aren’t good offensively so he will have a nice opportunity tonight.
Cain is having a down season, but he dominated the Pirates earlier in the year at PNC and has pitched well lately. You know about the Bucco offense and its many struggles, so the outlook isn’t great for this one. This is one of those matchups where the first place team just needs to find a way to squeak past the last place team.