In the last two-odd weeks, the Pirates have:
– Won two of three in Arizona.
– Swept a home series against the Reds.
– Split two games against the Cardinals.
– Taken three of four from a previously red-hot Braves team.
So what say we add three of four from the Phillies at Citizen's Bank Park today? A split would be a perfectly acceptable way to start this ten-game road trip, honestly, but three of four would be much better. Really, it feels like this Pirate team is capable of pretty much anything these days.
This afternoon, James McDonald takes the mound against Cliff Lee. After homering off of lefty Antonio Bastardo last night, Pedro Alvarez is in the lineup against the lefty. Neil Walker, who struggles against lefties nearly as much as Alvarez does, has been given the day off in favor of Brandon Inge. We have no choice but to roll with this Inge thing until it runs its course, I suppose. Gaby Sanchez, Jose Tabata, and Mike McKenry all will also get starts today as the right-handed lineup and the afternoon-game-after-a-day-game lineup hit a confluence.
Lee's first two starts were excellent and his third one was pretty good, but the Cardinals roughed him up last week. James McDonald is James McDonald and I just don't know what else to say. First pitch today is at 1:05.