July 16, 2011

Game 92: Pirates (48-43) at Astros

The first place Pirates go with the same lineup today except for replacing Josh Harrison at third base with Brandon Wood. Meanwhile at Indianapolis, Steven Pearce has homered on both days of his rehab assignment. I wonder if Pearce and not Pedro Alvarez should be the player being readied to replace Harrison and Wood at third base.

The Pirates got a chance with the All-Star break to realign their rotation, adn Paul Maholm is the #2 guy after Jeff Karstens. Maholm is ninth in the National League in ERA (2.96). Astros starter Bud Norris is a tough opponent who has more than a strikeout an inning for his career. He has already faced the Pirates three times this year, allowing only six runs total.

Despite all the people saying the Pirates are playing over their heads, by run differential Pittsburgh has won only one more game than would be expected. The Pirates have scored 358 runs and allowed 346 for an expected record of 47-44. Defending champion Cincinnati (+33) actually leads the division in this category, suggesting it might be a bit early to root for the Cardinals.



Presley lf (.357/.422/.554)
d'Arnaud ss (.233/.253/.315)
Walker 2b (.263/.327/.395)
McCutchen cf (.290/.390/.508)
Jones rf (.245/.333/.428)
Overbay 1b (.238/.310/.353)
Wood 3b (.211/.276/.331)
McKenry c (.236/.273/.319)
Maholm p (6-9, 2.96)

Bourn cf (.287/.350/.393)
Sanchez 3b (.256/.309/.317)
Keppinger 2b (.300/.314/.387)
Pence rf (.323/.364/.494)
Lee 1b (.269/.316/.424)
Michaels lf (.208/.348/.313)
Barmes ss (.247/.320/.374)
Quintero c (.231/.266/.299)
Norris p (5-6, 3.46)

Game time is 7:05.

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