The Pirates are guaranteed to go into the All-Star Break in first place and in the last 12 hours or so the conversation has shifted from the Pirates themselves to Andrew McCutchen in the home run derby and the trade deadline (Justin Upton's name does that, and I don't have a problem with it), but they still have one game left before the break starts.
It's a winnable game, too, with AJ Burnett facing off against Tim Lincecume this afternoon. Lincecum's strikeout rate is still insanely high this year (9.7 K/9) and that means that he's a candidate to have a sudden resurgence against this Pirate offense, but he's still struggling pretty badly with his control and he gets hit pretty hard in his worst starts. The Pirates are pretty good at hitting people hard right now, so hopefully they'll be able to take advantage of Lincecum today.
First pitch today is at 1:35. Shane Victorino is a late scratch from the Phillies lineup today. The next two weeks are going to be wild, but they're going to be best enjoyed if the Pirates are winning., so let's see them finish the first half the right way today.
It's an odd feeling.....I know I want for the lineup to be improved and if a trade or two helps then I'm okay with it but I also hate to send down or release one or more of the lesser guys because there is such good chemistry on this team right now.
48 wins - 37 losses at the AS break - Wow. ....just WOW! Great job by Hurdle, Searage and all and what a superb team effort. I'm really happy to have A.J. enjoying baseball with this group too!