Phillies (40-44) at Pirates (51-31)
7:05 PM–PNC Park, Pittsburgh
The Bucs look to get back on the winning track and even this week’s series with the Phillies tonight. It’s a Wednesday, of course, but with the Phils in town and a holiday tomorrow, I’m thinking PNC will be packed tonight. Heck, it was close to full last night.
Jose Tabata is back – finally! You’d have to think Jose will get a shot to be the every day right fielder – Travis Snider isn’t getting it done and Tabata’s was playing fairly well before his injury. If he can’t handle it, the Bucs will need to address that spot at the deadline. Regardless, it’s good to have Jose back – at the very least he strengthens the bench.
Brandon Cumpton was sent down to make room for Tabata (as expected).
Here’s an update on all the injured Pirates pitchers. A.J. Burnett seems to be close to returning and may be able to avoid a rehab stint.
John Lannan (1-2, 4.83) vs. Jeff Locke (7-1, 2.06)
Lannan is a very mediocre lefty. His last start was quite good but he hadn’t done much of anything this season before that. The Pirates really need to get the bats going soon and tonight they should have a chance to do just that.
Locke makes his first start in a full week thanks to a couple of off days and his warm-up on Sunday afternoon. Jeff has continued his incredible run lately, but he’s now third in NL ERA behind Matt Harvey and Clayton Kershaw. This could be an important start for Locke’s all-star hopes – he certainly deserves a bid but I don’t think too many would be surprised to see him left out.
Bucs vs. Lannan
Phils vs. Locke