It's a little cliche, but the best way to bounce back after a winning streak ends is to start a new winning streak. Jeff Locke looks to bolster his All-Star candidacy tonight (that is not a sentence I ever thought I'd type) with a strong start (he's probably got two more before the break), while the Phillies send John Lannan to the mound. Lannan has not been very good with the Phillies this year — his strikeout rate is sitting right at the Zach Duke Line of 4.5 K/9 — and so this seems like a nice opportunity to break out of the slump.
Jose Tabata was activated from the DL and Brandon Cumpton was demoted back to the minors this afternoon, and because Lannan's a lefty, Tabata's in the lineup tonight. I thought Tabata was stringing together a solid season before his injury, so it'd be nice to see him to pick up where he left off. Since the Pirates seem likely to target corner outfield help at the trade deadline, how Tabata performs in the next couple of weeks will likely dictate whether the Pirates look for a full-time player, or the bigger part of a platoon.
First pitch is at 7:05.