Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 7/3/12

Astros (32-48) at Prates (43-36)

7:05 PM EST–PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Here is the MLB.com Gameday

TV: ROOT Sports

The Pirates will go for two in a row tonight against the Astros at PNC Park. A win would put them at eight games over .500, which would be higher than they’ve ever been during the 19-year losing streak.

NEWS:

You’ve surely heard by now that Jose Tabata has been demoted to Indianapolis, and Gorkys Hernandez was called up to take his place. I’m fully in favor of the move to send Jose down, as he’s not only been unproductive at the plate but also appeared to be struggling and possibly lacking effort in the field for whatever reason. Hopefully this will serve as a wakeup call to him and he can get things back together; I have a suspicion he will.

I know everyone wants to see Starling Marte instead of Hernandez (I do too), but this move is about Tabata only. The sense seems to be that Marte will be up very soon (after the break?), but when he comes up, the plan is to have him start every day. That point should be determined by the Pirates’ opinion of Marte, not when they feel like bringing Tabata down. For now, Alex Presley, Drew Sutton, and Garrett Jones should be able to hold down the corner OF spots. I doubt Hernandez will get many starts, although you could see him as a late inning defensive replacement.

In other news, the Pirates signed 16-year-old Dominican 3B Julio De La Cruz today. He’s Baseball America’s 16th-ranked international prospect.

Tonight’s starters…

Lucas Harrell (7-6, 4.33) vs. A.J. Burnett (9-2, 3.31)

You’ve probably never heard of Harrell, and his numbers aren’t anything special. He is coming off a complete-game shutout (against the Padres) and has pitched well in his last two starts. Can the Pirate bats stay hot against him?

Burnett will be going for his NINTH win in a row, and is coming off a decent outing on the Bucs’ final day in Philly last week. A.J. faced the Astros on Mother’s Day earlier this season, and pitched well but earned a no decision (the Bucs eventually won in extra innings). He has won every start he’s made since.

Pirates vs. Harrell:

Casey McGehee (0-1 with a walk) is the only Pirate that has ever faced him in the majors.

Astros vs. Burnett:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS Jed Lowrie 18 18 2 1 0 0 0 0 4 .111 .111 .167 .278 Carlos Lee 12 11 4 1 0 0 1 1 2 .364 .417 .455 .871 J.D. Martinez 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 Jordan Schafer 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 Brian Bogusevic 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333 .667 Jason Castro 3 3 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 .667 .667 .667 1.333 Chris Johnson 3 3 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667 Scott Moore 3 2 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 .500 .667 2.000 2.667 Wandy Rodriguez 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 Brett Myers 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.000 Chris Snyder 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 Total 57 54 12 2 0 1 4 3 10 .222 .263 .315 .578 Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/3/2012.

©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved.

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