The Pirates already won the Jeff Locke/Matt Cain pitching matchup. Tonight they earn a split and ensure a winning record on their seven-game road trip before Francisco Liriano and AJ Burnett even take the mound on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Tonight Charlie Morton will face off against Madison Bumgarner. Morton's been pretty good of late. He's allowed two runs and only two runs in each of his last three starts, and his stuff continues to look as good as it's ever looked in his time with the Pirates. It's strange to think that it's August 23rd, the Pirates are in first place, and Charlie Morton might be the team's third-best starting pitcher, but I think that that might be the situation we're in right now. Bumgarner has been excellent this year, but his last two starts have only lasted a combined nine innings and it's possible that he's wearing down some. That's what the Pirates should be hoping for, anyway.
First pitch tonight is at 10:15 again. The Reds and Brewers play at 7:10. The Cardinals and Braves play at 8:05.