Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 4/22/13
Pirates (10-8) at Phillies (8-11) 7:05 PM–Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia MLB.com Gameday TV: MLB Network  The Bucs are hitting the road for a nine game trip, and things don’t look a whole lot easier than their recent homestand. It’s true that the Phillies look to be down somewhat this year, but Citizens Bank is usually a tough place to play anyway and the Phils still boast three big name starters (and the Bucs will see them all). After that, it’s St. Louis and Milwaukee–two places where it’s never easy to win. The Phillies are in a bit of a strange spot this season. They still have most of their big-money guys (Rollins, Howard, Utley, Papelbon, Halladay, Lee, Hamels) but seem to have fallen behind the Braves and Nationals in the NL East after a disappointing 2012. They certainly could still contend, but you get the sense that their window of success has started to close. The Pens are on ROOT tonight so the Bucs will be on MLB Network (in Pittsburgh). Tonight’s starters… A.J. Burnett (1-2. 2.63) vs. Jonathan Pettibone (debut) Unlike the past couple of days, the Pirates have a significant advantage in the pitching matchup tonight. They need to turn that in to a W, because the Phillies will be sending out their trio of stud pitchers (Hamels, Halladay and Lee) for the next three games after this one. Burnett has been striking people out like crazy so far this year and still leads the majors in K’s. In his last start, he finally got past the fifth inning by carrying a perfect game into the sixth and a no hitter into the seventh. A.J. will be facing a somewhat weakened Phillies lineup, but this is sometimes a tough ballpark to pitch in. Pettibone will be making his major league debut tonight. The righty has posted steady minor league numbers over the past few years but got off to a rough start in AAA this season, allowing 10 earned runs in 9.1 innings. The 22-year old was a 3rd round pick in 2008 and is not a super-highly rated prospect. I’d say he’s somewhat comparable to Phil Irwin. Here’s a full scouting report from the excellent Phillies blog Crashburn Alley.  Phillies vs. AJ: Ryan Howard and Chase Utley have homered off him multiple times Bucs vs. Pettibone: n/a LINEUPS: Tonight’s 7:05 lineup vs Pirates. Pettibone (@mlb debut) vs. Burnett. CSN/1210WPHT/94WIP/ @mlbtv twitter.com/Phillies/statu… — Phillies (@Phillies) April 22, 2013 Here’s the #Pirates lineup for tonight’s 7:05pm game in Philly. twitter.com/Pirates/status… — Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) April 22, 2013 GO BUCS
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