8:05, FSNP, WPGB
Armless (2-4, 6.93) vs. Yovani Gallardo (5-4, 4.86).
Like a lot of Brewers pitchers, Gallardo has nearly doubled his ERA in August, but a lot of that came when he allowed eleven runs against Colorado August 8. He's struck out at least six and walked one or fewer in three of his five August starts, so I bet he's fine. The first-place Cubs were beaten by the Astros today, so the Brewers will see this game as an opportunity to move up. Here's the box; I'll be in the comments for a while.
I'm not sure if you're aware, but despite consecutive losses, this series is critical and "meaningful" - for the Pirates' playoff chances.
"Stranger things have happened," manager Jim Tracy said.
Wink wink! Shrug shrug! Smile smile! I can't blame Tracy for insinuating that this team has a chance, but I can blame journalists who don't put this information into perspective. I don't know if this particular journalist noticed, but last night's loss put the Bucs in last place. Sixth. If even one team at the top wins more than a handful of games - a near-certain bet, given that everyone plays in the division a whole bunch down the stretch - then the Bucs are completely finished, and that's even before considering the difference in talent between them and Chicago or Milwaukee.
-P- In news that may actually be relevant to who wins the division, the Cards picked up Bucs Dugout fave Russ Branyan from the Phillies for a player to be named. In other Cards news, Mark Mulder could return from injury to face the Pirates on Wednesday or Thursday. The Cards' pitching has been tremendous recently, getting good starts from everyone from Anthony Reyes to Joel Pineiro to Braden Looper, so it's an open question as to whether Mulder will actually help them.