Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 6/25/12

Pirates (38-33) at Phillies (34-40)

7:05 PM EST–Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

Here is the MLB.com Gameday

TV: ROOT Sports

After a pretty successful homestand, the Bucs are on the road for a week as they look to continue their winning ways. Their first stop is a place that hasn’t been kind to them lately: Citizens Bank Park. They are just 5-18 in CBP, have been swept there two of the last three years, and it’s where the losing streak that sent last season down the drain really began (everyone remembers Jerry Meals, but the Bucs split the next two games…then went to Philly and got hammered).

Much like the Pirates’ first trip to Miller Park this season, this time SHOULD be different. The Phillies are a mess instead of the NL’s juggernaut team. The Pirates will remarkably miss Philadelphia’s top three pitchers in a four game series (Roy Halladay is injured, and Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee both pitched in a doubleheader yesterday). The Bucs have some serious momentum, and they already took 2 of 3 from the Phils to open the season. It’s not as if this will be an easy series, but you couldn’t ask for a better setup to win a 4-game set on the road. There’s really no excuse not to win at least 2.

Roster moves: As expected, Bryan Morris was optioned back to Indy to clear a spot for Karstens. Drew Sutton is not on the lineup card, so I’m assuming the Pirates have another day to decide on who they will ship out when he arrives.

Tonight’s starters…

Jeff Karstens (0-1, 4.50) vs. Joe Blanton (6-6, 5.04)

That’s right, Karstens is back. He pitched in just three games this year before hitting the DL, and one was a no decision against these Phillies (6 innings, 1 run, 5 hits). Jeff was excellent in his final rehab start, and if he can stay healthy and pitch anywhere close to as well as he did last year, he’ll give this rotation a giant boost and make it a serious force.

Blanton has allowed five or more earned runs in six of his last seven starts. The only thing he really does well is avoiding walks, so the Pirates should come prepared to be aggressive and hit him early on. Based on his ugly ERA, that approach has worked well enough for other teams so far this year.

Phillies vs. Karstens:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS Hunter Pence 26 24 9 1 0 1 3 1 1 .375 .385 .542 .926 Jimmy Rollins 16 15 6 1 0 0 2 0 0 .400 .400 .467 .867 Shane Victorino 15 14 3 1 0 0 0 1 1 .214 .267 .286 .552 Mike Fontenot 13 12 4 0 0 0 1 1 1 .333 .385 .333 .718 Placido Polanco 8 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .125 .125 .125 .250 Carlos Ruiz 6 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .167 .167 .167 .333 Brian Schneider 6 6 3 1 0 1 3 0 0 .500 .500 1.167 1.667 Ty Wigginton 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .500 .000 .500 Michael Martinez 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667 Juan Pierre 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667 Jim Thome 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 Joe Blanton 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000 Cole Hamels 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .500 .500 .500 1.000 Cliff Lee 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 John Mayberry 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 Vance Worley 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.000 Kyle Kendrick 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 Total 114 106 32 4 0 2 9 4 6 .302 .330 .396 .727 Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/25/2012.

Pirates vs. Blanton:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS Rod Barajas 14 13 4 4 0 0 3 0 2 .308 .286 .615 .901 Garrett Jones 13 11 1 0 0 1 2 2 4 .091 .231 .364 .594 Andrew McCutchen 10 9 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 .111 .200 .111 .311 Casey McGehee 9 9 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 .222 .222 .333 .556 Clint Barmes 6 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 Jose Tabata 4 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .250 .250 .500 .750 Pedro Alvarez 3 3 2 0 0 1 2 0 0 .667 .667 1.667 2.333 Neil Walker 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .333 .333 .333 .667 Kevin Correia 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 Josh Harrison 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000 Alex Presley 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.000 Total 66 59 13 6 0 2 8 3 15 .220 .266 .424 .689 Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/25/2012.

©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved.

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