Garcia and Correia at seven.
Pirates will wear the Grays uniforms.
I will do the same in the beer fort, and juggle sparklers afterwards.
Friday at seven: Carpenter and Maholm.
Pirates are six games up, and they should be getting some players back over the weekend.
I am curious to see how anticipated whipping-boy Pedro Alvarez would fare if promoted to the Show to work on that 587 OPS. Any talk about bringing him up should be grounded in the fact that his 2011 season has been a huge bust to date. It's not Ryan Braun we'd be getting back.
That said, I was looking around at various pre-season projections and whatever he did in 2010, was clearly promising for a man his age. ZIPS suggested a 116 OPS+ and 116 RBI with 28 HRs in a near-full season. Alvarez looks like the kind of player a budget-minded team would trade for--the next Andy Laroche, maybe.
The Pirates should give him another shot with that in mind. Some of these guys will be for real, and the opportunity to be the team that finds out, is a valuable one that is not to be squandered, especially when Ronny Cedeno might be the third or fourth best hitter on the active roster. He's up to a 924 OPS at AAA. I'd like to see him recalled when hot and then, if he does not hit much in a week, sent down again. I'm not sure if that is practical in terms of minor-league options etc., but this team does not hit so well that they can afford to keep Alvarez down there, destroying minor-league pitching.
Willis and McDonald at seven.
Pirates are 49-44, and a half-game back of the Cardinals.
The simulations give the Reds a greater chance (~81%) at the playoffs. The Reds are a little more worthy than the hapless Astros, making this series an important test.
It will help answer the question, never far from my mind: "Will the Pirates squeak into the playoffs, or will they win 105 games, like they did last year?"