The Pirates have won four in a row after stumbling a bit out of the All-Star break, but the team that they’re chasing in the NL Central, the Reds, have won three in a row and eight of their last ten. That means that even though they’ve started this series against the Marlins with two wins, they might need to complete the sweep this afternoon to make sure they don’t lose any ground in the division.
Anibal Sanchez goes for the Marlins today. After a strong start to his 2012 season, he’s struggled since the beginning of June and he’s gotten hit hard in quite a few of his starts since then. As I’ve been saying quite a bit lately, the Pirates have been very good at hitting pitchers hard. That said, Sanchez’s made two pretty good starts coming out of the break so it’d be unwise to count him out from making a good start today. Jeff Karstens goes for the Bucs, looking to continue his excellent post-disabled list work.
First pitch is at 1:35. There is an outside chance that today’s baseball ends with the Pirates having the National League’s best record.