PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 22: A.J. Burnett #34 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the game on June 22, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Another winnable game, as the Bucs face off against Kyle Kendrick. This is an early one, at 1:05.
It's a little surprising that the Pirates don't move McKenry up in the order a bit, at least above Barmes and to Rod Barajas' usual spot, with the way McKenry has been hitting. If you're going to start Drew Sutton in left field and bat him leadoff because you're riding the hot hand, it surely makes sense to do so with McKenry as well. And hot streak or no, it's not at all clear to me that Barmes is a better hitter than McKenry anyway. Not that it's any big deal.
UPDATE from David: AJ looks to tie Dock Ellis in 1974 with a win in his 8th consecutive start. He'll be throwing to Johnny Bench, um I mean Michael McKenry for the first time this year. As Charlie mentioned, Clint is giving Drew Sutton the start in left, essentially riding the hot hand, but I also think his postgame comments last night were very telling. I wouldn't be surprised to see Tabata get an extended seat next to Clint and Jeff Bannister. No sugarcoating it. He's been terrible--offensively and defensively and that's basically what Clint said, in terms more candid than we usually hear.
As Aphthakid notes in the comments, the Phillies shuffled their pen after last night's shellacking, so the Bucs could see some new faces today.
No Chase Utley today and former Pirate Erik Kratz makes his first start of the season for the Phils. Here is what AJ's gonna face:
Jimmy Rollins 6
Juan Pierre 7
Shane Victorino 8
Hunter Pence 9
Placido Polanco 5
Ty Wigginton 3
Mike Fontenot 4
Eric Kratz 2
Kyle Kendrick 1