For the very first time in the month of August, the Pirates are not alone in first place. Last night's loss to the Giants coupled with the Cardinals' third straight win over the Braves put St. Louis into a tie with the Bucs, which is the first time the Cardinals have been in first place since the double-header at PNC Park on July 30th. The Cards are losing to the Braves right now, though (it's 3-0 in the second inning at Busch Stadium), which means that the Pirates may have an opportunity to take sole possession of first place back with a win this afternoon.
AJ Burnett and Ryan Vogelsong are on the mound this afternoon. Burnett bounced back from two bad outings with a really excellent one in San Diego on Tuesday of this week. He shut the Padres down over seven innings, striking out seven and only allowing one run on four hits and a walk. I'm sure the Pirates would love to see that AJ Burnett again this afternoon, and hopefully he's past whatever it was that was slowing him down against Colorado and St. Louis in the two starts prior to that last one. Vogelsong missed a huge chunk of time this year with a broken hand, and he's only made three starts since coming off of the disabled list. Two of those starts have been solid and one of them (the middle start, so not his most recent outing) was awfully poor.
First pitch this afternoon is at 4:05.